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University of Alberta Library 


adaptation of 

iNENEM\ 


OETHEPM)PLE 


A4 


M642 


1977 


CURR 





Ex Libris 

Universitatis 

Albertensis 



ALBERTA EDUCATION LIBRARY 
4th FLOOR 

11160 JASPER AVENUE 
tOMONTON. ALBERTA T5K 0L2 

PENGUIN PLAYS 

AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE 

Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828 in Skien, Telemark, Norway. 
When he was eight years old his father’s business became 
bankrupt, and the rest of his youth was spent in poverty. At 
fifteen he was apprenticed to an apothecary in Grimstad and 
began to prepare for medical school. He was thus required to 
learn Latin, an undertaking that led to his interest in the char- 
acter of the Roman traitor Catiline. His first play, Catiline, 
published in 1850, was a failure; but in the same year he moved 
to Christiania, where a second play was performed with suc- 
cess. In 1851 he became stage manager of a theatre in Bergen, 
with a contract obliging him to write a new play every year. In 
1857 he was appointed director of the Norwegian Theatre in 
Christiania, and in 1863 he won a scholarship for travel to 
Italy, where he wrote Brand and Peer Gynt. His standing in the 
theatre was now established, and in the years that followed he 
wrote first a group of social-problem plays (including A Doll’s 
House and An Enemy of the People), then psychological dramas 
(among them. The Wild Duck and Rosmersholm), and finally 
the transcendent symbolist pieces {The Master Builder, Little 
Eylof, John Gabriel Borkman, and When We Dead Awaken). 
He died in Christiania in 1906. 

Arthur Miller was born and grew up in New York. In 1938 he 
was graduated from the University of Michigan and in 1945 
published Focus, a novel about anti-Semitism. His first impor- 
tant play. All My Sons, appeared in 1947: it was followed by 
Death of a Salesman (Pulitzer Prize, 1949), a bitter portrayal of 
social and personal failure, now ranked among the American 
theatre’s lasting triumphs. Miller’s further plays include The 
Crucible (1953). A View from the Bridge (1955), After the Fall 
(1964), The Price (1968), and The Creation of the World and 
Other Business (1973). He has also published two books of non- 
fiction accompanied by Inge Morath’s photographs; In Russia 
(1969) and In the Country (1977). 


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AN ENEMY 
OE THE PEOPLE 



PENGUIN BOOKS 


Penguin Books Ltd, Harmondsworth, 

Middlesex, England 
Penguin Books, 40 West 23rd Street, 

New York, New York 10010, U.S.A. 

Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, 

Victoria, Australia 

Penguin Books Canada Limited, 2801 John Street, 

Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 1B4 
Penguin Books (N.Z.) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road, 

Auckland 10, New Zealand 

First published in the United States of America by The Viking Press 1951 
Published in Penguin Books 1977 
Reprinted 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983 

Cops right © renewed 1979 by Arthur Miller 
All rights reserved 

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA 

Ibsen, Henrik, 1828-1906. 

Arthur Miller’s adaptation of An enemy of the people. 

(Penguin plays) 

Translation of En folkefiende. 1 . Miller, Arthur, 1915— 

11 . Title. HI. Title: An enemy of the people. 

PT8862.A37M5 1977 839.8'2'26 77-24276 

ISBN o 14 048.140 o 

Printed in the United States of America by 
Offset Paperback Mfrs., Inc., Dallas, Pennsylvania 
Set in Linotype Baskerville 

This play in its printed form is designed for the reading public only. 

,\11 dramatic rights in it are fully protected by copyright, and no public or 
private performance— professional or amateur— may be given without 
the written permission of the author and the payment of royalty. 

As the courts have also ruled that a public reading of a play 
constitutes a public performance, no such reading may be given except 
under the conditions stated above. Communication should be addressed to 
International Creative Management, 40 West 57 Street, New York, N.Y. 10019. 


Except in the United States of America, 
this book is sold subject to the condition 
that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, 
be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated 
without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of 
binding or cover other than that in which it is 
published and without a similar condition 
including this condition being imposed 
on the subsequent purchaser 


UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA 



1 

At the outset it ought to be said that the word "adaptation” is 
very distasteful to me. It seems to mean that one writer has 
ventured into another’s chickencoop, or worse, into the sacred 
chamber of another’s personal creations and rearranged things 
without permission. Most of the time an adaptation is a play- 
wright’s excuse for not writing his own plays, and since I am 
not yet with my back against that particular wall, I think it 
wise to set down what I have tried to do with An Enemy of the 
People, and why I did it. 

There is one quality in Ibsen that no serious writer can 
afford to overlook. It lies at the very center of his force, and I 
found in it— as I hope others will— a profound source of strength. 
It is his insistence, his utter conviction, that he is going to say 
what he has to say, and that the audience, by God, is going to 
listen. It is the very same quality that makes a star actor, a 
great public speaker, and a lunatic. Every Ibsen play begins 
with the unwritten words: “Now listen herel” And these words 
have shown me a path through the wall of “entertainment,” a 
path that leads beyond the formulas and dried-up precepts, the 
pretense and fraud, of the business of the stage. Whatever else 
Ibsen has to teach, this is his first and greatest contribution. 

In recent years Ibsen has fallen into a kind of respectful ob- 
scurity that is not only undeserved but really quite disrespect- 
ful of culture— and a disservice to the theater besides. I decided 


7 


Preface 


to work on An Enemy of the People because I had a private 
wish to demonstrate that Ibsen is really pertinent today, that 
he is not “old-fashioned,” and, implicitly, that those who con- 
demn him are themselves misleading our theater and our play- 
wrights into a blind alley of senseless sensibility, triviality, and 
the inevitable waste of our dramatic talents; for it has become 
the fashion for plays to reduce the “thickness” of life to a frag- 
ile facsimile, to avoid portraying the complexities of life, the 
contradictions of character, the fascinating interplay of cause 
and effect that have long been part of the novel. And I wished 
also to buttress the idea that the dramatic writer has, and must 
again demonstrate, the right to entertain with his brains as 
well as his heart. It is necessary that the public understand 
again that the stage is the place for ideas, for philosophies, for 
the most intense discussion of man’s fate. One of the masters of 
such a discussion is Henrik Ibsen, and I have presumed to 
point this out once again. 


2 

I have attempted to make An Enemy of the People as alive to 
Americans as it undoubtedly was to Norwegians, while keeping 
it intact. I had no interest in exhuming anything, in asking 
people to sit respectfully before the work of a celebrated but 
neglected writer. There are museums for such activities; the 
theater has no truck with them, and ought not to have. 

And I believed this play could be alive for us because its cen- 
tral theme is, in my opinion, the central theme of our social 
life today. Simply, it is the question of whether the democratic 
guarantees protecting political minorities ought to be set aside 
in time of crisis. More personally, it is the question of whether 
one’s vision of the truth ought to be a source of guilt at a time 
when the mass of men condemn it as a dangerous and devilish 
lie. It is an enduring theme— in fact, possibly the most endur 


8 


Preface 


ing of all Ibsen’s themes— because there never was, nor will 
there ever be, an organized society able to countenance calmly 
the individual who insists that he is right while the vast major- 
ity is absolutely wrong. 

The play is the story of a scientist who discovers an evil and, 
innocently believing that he has done a service to humanity, 
expects that he will at least be thanked. However, the town has 
a vested interest in the perpetuation of that evil, and his 
“truth,” when confronted with that interest, must be made to 
conform. The scientist cannot change the truth for any reason 
disconnected with the evil. He clings to the truth and suffers 
the social consequences. At rock bottom, then, the play is con- 
cerned with the inviolability of objective truth. Or, put more 
dynamically, that those who attempt to warp the truth for ulte- 
rior purposes must inevitably become warped and corrupted 
themselves. This themie is valid today, just as it will always be, 
but some of the examples given by Ibsen to prove it may no 
longer be. 

I am told that Ibsen wrote this play as a result of his being 
practically stoned off the stage for daring to present Ghosts. 
The plot is supposed to have come from a news item which 
told of an Hungarian scientist who'had discovered poisoned 
water in the town’s water supply and had been pilloried for 
his discovery. If this was the case, my interpretation of the 
theme is doubly justified, for it then seems beyond doubt that 
Ibsen meant above and beyond all else to defend his right to 
stand “at the outpost of society,” alone with the truth, and to 
speak from there to his fellow men. 

However, there are a few speeches, and one scene in particu- 
lar, which have been taken to mean that Ibsen was a fascist. 
In the original meeting scene in which Dr. Stockmann sets 
forth his— and Ibsen’s— point of view most completely and 
angrily. Dr. Stockmann makes a speech in which he turns to 


9 


Preface 


biology to prove that there are indeed certain individuals 
“bred” to a superior apprehension of truths and who have 
the natural right to lead, if not to govern, the mass. 

If the entire play is to be understood as the working-out of 
this speech, then one has no justification for contending that 
it is other than rascist and fascist— certainly it could not be 
thought of as a defense of any democratic idea. But, structur- 
ally speaking, the theme is not wholly contained in the meet- 
ing scene alone. In fact, this speech is in some important re- 
spects in contradiction to the actual dramatic working-out of 
the play. But that Ibsen never really believed that idea in the 
first place is amply proved by a speech he delivered to a work- 
ers’ club after the production ol An Enemy of the People. He 
said then: “Of course I do not mean the aristocracy of birth, 
or of the purse, or even the aristocracy of the intellect. I mean 
the aristocracy of character, of will, of mind— that alone can 
free us.” 

I have taken as justification for removing those examples 
which no longer prove the theme— examples I believe Ibsen 
would have removed were he alive today— the line in the origi- 
nal manuscript that reads: “There is no established truth that 
can remain true for more than seventeen, eighteen, at most 
twenty years.” In light of genocide, the holocaust that has 
swept our world on the wings of the black ideology of racism, 
it is inconceivable that Ibsen woul^ insist today that certain 
individuals are by breeding, or race, or “innate” qualities supe- 
rior to others or possessed of the right to dictate to others. The 
man who wrote A Doll’s House, the clarion call for the equal- 
ity of women, cannot be equated with a fascist. The whole cast 
of his thinking was such that he could not have lived a day 
under an authoritarian regime of any kind. He was an individ- 
ualist sometimes to the point of anarchism, and in such a man 
there is too explosive a need for self-expression to permit him 


10 


Preface 


to conform to any rigid ideology. It is impossible, therefore, to 
set him beside Hitler. 


3 

On reading the standard translations of Ibsen’s work it quickly 
became obvious that the false impressions that have been con- 
nected with the man would seem to be justified were he to be 
produced in “translated” form. For one thing, his language in 
English sounds impossibly pedantic. Combine this with the 
fact that he wore a beard and half-lenses in his eyeglasses, and 
that his plays have always been set forth with yards of fringe 
on every tablecloth and drapery, and it was guaranteed that a 
new production on the traditional basis would truly bury the 
man for good. 

I set out to transform his language into contemporary Eng- 
lish. Working from a pidgin-English, word-for-word rendering 
of the Norwegian, done by Mr. Lars Nordenson, I was able to 
gather the meaning of each speech and scene without the ob- 
struction of any kind of English construction. 

For instance, Mr. Nordenson, working from the original 
Norwegian manuscript, set before me speeches such as: “But, 
dear Thomas, what have you then done to him again?” Or: 
“The Mayor being your brother, I would not wish to touch it, 
but you are as convinced as I am that truth goes ahead of all 
other considerations.” Or: “Well, what do you say. Doctor? 
Don’t you think it is high time that we stir a little life into the 
slackness and sloppiness of halfheartedness and cowardliness?” 
This last speech now reads: “Well, what do you say to a little 
hypodermic for these fence-sitting deadheads?” 

It was possible to peer into the original play with as clear an 
eye as one could who knew no Norwegian. There were no Eng- 
lish sentences to correct and rewrite, only the bare literalness 


Preface 


of the original. This version of the play, then, is really in the 
nature of a new translation into spoken English. 

But it is more too. The original has a tendency to indulge in 
transitions between scenes that are themselves uninteresting, 
and although as little as possible of the original construction 
has been changed and the play is exactly as it was, scejie/ for 
scene, I have made each act seem of one piece, instead of sepa- 
rate scenes. And my reason for doing this is simply that the 
tradition of Ibsen’s theater allowed the opera-like separation 
of scenes, while ours demands that the audience never be con- 
scious that a “scene” has taken place at all. 

Structurally the largest change is in the third act— Ibsen’s 
fifth. In the original the actual dramatic end comes a little 
past the middle of the act, but it is followed by a wind-up that 
keeps winding endlessly to the curtain. I think this overwriting 
was the result of Ibsen’s insistence that his meaning be driven 
home— and from the front door right through to the back, lest 
the audience fail to understand him. Generally, in this act, I 
have brought out the meaning of the play in terms of dra- 
matic action, action which was already there and didn’t need 
to be newly invented, but which was separated by tendentious 
speeches spoken into the blue. 

Throughout the play I have tried to peel away its trappings 
of the moment, its relatively accidental details which ring the 
dull green tones of Victorianism, and to show that beneath 
them there still lives the terrible wrath of Henrik Ibsen, who 
could make a play as men make watches, precisely, intelli- 
gently, and telling not merely the minute and the hour but the 
age. 


12 


AN ENEMY OE THE PEOPLE 

0 


AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE 



OF THE ORIGINAL PRODUCTION OF THIS ADAPTATION, 
IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE 


Morten Khl Art Smith 

Billing Michael Strong 

Mrs. Stockmann Florence Eldridge 

Peter Stockmann Morris Carnovsky 

Hovstad Martin Brooks 

Dr. Stockmann Fredric March 

Morten Ralph Robertson 

Ejlif Richard Trask 

Captain Horster Ralph Dunn 

Petra Anna Minot 

Aslaksen Fred Stewart 

The Drunk Lou Gilbert 

Townspeople: Lulla Adler, Barbara Ames, Paul Fitz- 
patrick, James Karen, Michael Lewin, Salem Lud- 
wig, Gene Lyons, John Marley, Arnold Schulman, 
Robert Simon, Rod Steiger 


Production directed by Robert Lewis. 
Setting and costumes by Aline Bernstein. 
Lighting by Charles Elson. 

Presented by Lars Nordenson at the Broadhurst 
Theatre in New York on December 28, 19^0. 


AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE 



THE ACTION TAKES PLACE IN A NORWEGIAN TOWN 

ACT ONE 

Scene i : Dr. Stockmann’s living room. 

Scene 2 : The same, the following morning. 

ACT TWO 

Scene 1 : Editorial office of the People’s Daily Messenger. 
Scene 2 : A room in Captain Horster's house. 

ACT THREE 

Scene : Dr. Stockmann’s living room the following morning. 


Throughout, in the stage directions, right and left 
mean stage right and stage left. 



0ne.* y 


It is evening. Dr. Stockmann’s living room is simply but cheer- 
fully furnished. A doorway, upstage right, leads into the en- 
trance hall, which extends from the front door to the dining 
room, running unseen behind the living room. At the left is 
another door, which leads to the Doctor’s study and other 
rooms. In the upstage left corner is a stove. Toward the left 
foreground is a sofa with a table behind it. In the right fore- 
ground are two chairs, a small table between them, on which 
stand a lamp and a bowl of apples. At the back, to the left, an 
open doorway leads to the dining room, part of which is seen. 
The windows are in the right wall, a bench in front of them. 

As the curtain rises. Billing and Morten Kiil are eating in 
the dining room. Billing is junior editor of the People’s Daily 
Messenger. Kiil is a slovenly old man who is feeding himself 
in a great hurry. He gulps his last bite and comes into the liv- 
ing room, where he puts on his coat and ratty fur hat. Billing 
comes in to help him. 

Billing: You sure eat fast, Mr. Kiil. Billing is an enthusiast 
to the point of foolishness. 

Kiil: Eating don’t get you anywhere, boy. Tell my daughter 
I went home. 

Kiil starts across to the front door. Billing returns to his food 
in the dining room. Kiil halts at the bowl of apples; he takes 


17 


An Enemy of the People 


one, tastes it, likes it, takes another and puts it in his pocket, 
then continues on toward the door. Again he stops, returns, 
and takes another apple for his pocket. Then he sees a to- 
bacco can on the table. He covers his action from Billinas 
possible glance, opens the can, smells it, pours some into his 
side pocket. He is just closing the can when Catherine Stock- 
mann enters from the dining room. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Father! You’re not going, are you? 

Kiil: Got business to tend to. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Oh, you’re only going back to your room 
and you know it. Stay! Mr. Billing’s here, and Hovstad’s com- 
ing. It’ll be interesting for you. 

Kiil: Got all kinds of business. The only reason I came over 
was the butcher told me you bought roast beef today. Very 
tasty, dear. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Why don’t you wait for Tom? He only 
went for a little walk. 

Kiil, taking out his pipe: You think he’d mind if I filled my 
pipe? 

Mrs. Stockmann: No, go ahead. And here— take some apples. 
You should always have some fruit in your room. 

Kiil: No, no, wouldn’t think of it. 

The doorbell rings. 

Mrs. Stockmann: That must be Hovstad. She goes to the 
door and opens it. 

Peter Stockmann, the Mayor, enters. He is a bachelor, nearing 
sixty. He has always been one of those men who make it their 
life work to stand in the center of the ship to keep it from 


i8 


Act One 


overturning. He probably envies the family life and warmth 
of this house, but when he comes he never wants to admit he 
came and often sits with his coat on. 

Mrs, Stockmann; Peter 1 Well, this is a surprise! 

Peter Stockmann; I was just passing by . . . He sees Kiil and 
smiles, amused. Mr. Kiil! 

Kiil, sarcastically: Your Honor! He bites into his apple and 
exits. 

Mrs. Stockmann; You musn’t mind him, Peter, he’s getting 
terribly old. Would you like a bite to eat? 

Peter Stockmann; No, no thanks. He sees Billing now, and 
Billing nods to him from the dining room. 

Mrs, Stockmann, embarrassed: He just happened to drop in. 

Peter Stockmann; That’s all right. I can’t take hot food in 
the evening. Not with my stomach. 

Mrs. Stockmann; Can’t I ever get you to eat anything in this 
house? 

Peter Stockmann; Bless you, I stick to my tea and toast. 
Much healthier and more economical. 

Mrs. Stockmann, smiling: You sound as though Tom and I 
throw money out the window. 

Peter Stockmann; Not you, Catherine. He wouldn’t be home, 
would he? 

Mrs. Stockmann; He went for a little walk with the boys. 

Peter Stockmann; You don’t think that’s dangerous, right 
after dinner? There is a loud knocking on the front door. 
That sounds like my brother. 


19 


An Enemy of the People 


Mrs. Stockmann: I doubt it, so soon. Come in, please. 

Hovstad enters. He is in his early thirties, a graduate of the 
peasantry struggling with a terrible conflict. For while he 
hates authority and wealth, he cannot bring himself to cast off 
a certain desire to partake of them. Perhaps he is dangerous 
because he wants more than anything to belong, and in a 
radical that is a withering wish, not easily to be borne. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Mr. Hovstad— 

Hovstad: Sorry I’m late. I was held up at the printing shop. 
Surprised: Good evening. Your Honor. 

Peter Stockmann, rather stiffly: Hovstad. On business, no 
doubt. 

Hovstad: Partly. It’s about an article for the paper— 

Peter Stockmann, sarcastically: Hal I don’t doubt it. I under- 
stand my brother has become a prolific contributor to— what 
do you call it?— the People’s Daily Liberator? 

Hovstad, laughing, but holding his ground: The People’s 
Daily Messenger, sir. The Doctor sometimes honors the Mes- 
senger when he wants to uncover the real truth of some 
subject. 

Peter Stockmann: The truth! Oh, yes, I see. 

Mrs. Stockmann, nervously to Hovstad: Would you like to . . . 
She points to dining room. 

Peter Stockmann: I don’t want you to think I blame the 
Doctor for using your paper. After all, every performer goes 
for the audience that applauds him most. It’s really not your 
paper I have anything against, Mr. Hovstad. 

Hovstad: I really didn’t think so. Your Honor. 


20 


Act One 


Peter Stockmann: As a matter of fact, I happen to admire 
the spirit of tolerance in our town. It's magnificent. Just don’t 
forget that we have it because we all believe in the same thing; 
it brings us together. 

Hovstad: Kirsten Springs, you mean. 

Peter Stockmann; The springs, Mr. Hovstad, our wonderful 
new springs. They’ve changed the soul of this town. Mark 
my words, Kirsten Springs are going to put us on the map, 
and there is no question about it. 

Mrs. Stockmann: That’s what Tom says too. 

Peter Stockmann; Everything is shooting ahead— real estate 
going up, money changing hands every hour, business hum- 
ming— 

Hovstad: And no more unemployment. 

Peter Stockmann: Right. Give us a really good summer, and 
sick people will be coming here in carloads. The springs will 
turn into a regular fad, a new Carlsbad. And for once the 
well-to-do people won’t be the only ones paying taxes in this 
town. 

Hovstad: I hear reservations are really starting to come in? 

Peter Stockmann: Coming in every day. Looks very promis- 
ing, very promising. 

Hovstad: That’s fine. To Mrs. Stockmann: Then the Doctor’s 
article will come in handy. 

Peter Stockmann: He’s written something again? 

Hovstad: No, it’s a piece he wrote at the beginning of the 
winter, recommending the water. But at the time I let the ar- 
ticle lie. 


2 


An Enemy of the People 


Peter Stockmann: Why, some hitch in it? 

Hovstad: Oh, no, I just thought it would have a bigger effect 
in the spring, when people start planning for the summer. 

Peter Stockmann: That’s smart, Mr. Hovstad, very smart. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Tom is always so full of ideas about the 
springs; every day he— 

Peter Stockmann: Well, he ought to be, he gets his salary 
from the springs, my dear. 

Hovstad: Oh, I think it’s more than that, don’t you? After 
all. Doctor Stockmann created Kirsten Springs. 

Peter Stockmann: You don’t say! I’ve been hearing that 
lately, but I did think I had a certain modest part— 

Mrs. Stockmann: Oh, Tom always says— 

Hovstad: I only meant the original idea was— 

Peter Stockmann: My good brother is never at a loss for 
ideas. All sorts of ideas. But when it comes to putting them 
into action you need another kind of man, and I did think 
that at least people in this house would— 

Mrs. Stockmann: But Peter, dear— we didn’t mean to— Go 
get yourself a bite, Mr. Hovstad, my husband will be here any 
minute. 

Hovstad: Thank you, maybe just a little something. He goes 
into the dining room and joins Billing at the table. 

Peter Stockmann, lowering his voice: Isn’t it remarkable? 
Why is it that people without background can never learn 
tact? 

Mrs. Stockmann: Why let it bother you? Can’t you and 
Thomas share the honor like good brothers? 


22 


Act One 


Act One 23 

Peter Stockmann: The trouble is that certain men are never 
satisfied to share, Catherine. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Nonsense. You’ve always gotten along beau- 
tifully with Tom— That must be him now. 

She goes to the front door, opens it. Dr. Stockmann is laugh- 
ing and talking outside. He is in the prime of his life. He 
might he called the eternal amateur— a lover of things, of peo- 
ple, of sheer living, a man for whom the days are too short, 
and the future fabulous with discoverable joys. And for all 
this most people will not like him— he will not compromise 
■for less than God’s own share of the world while they have 
settled for less than Man’s. 

Dr. Stockmann, in the entrance hall: Hey, Catherine! Here’s 
another guest for you! Here’s a hanger for your coat. Captain. 
Oh, that’s right, you don’t wear overcoats! Go on in, boys. 
You kids must be hungry all over again. Come here. Captain 
Horster, I want you to get a look at this roast. He pushes Cap- 
tain Horster along the hallway to the dining room. Ejlif and 
Morten also go to the dining room. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Tom, dear . . . She motions toward Peter in 
the living room. 

Dr. Stockmann, turns around in the doorway to the living 
room and sees Peter: Oh, Peter . . . He walks across and 
stretches out his hand. Say now, this is really nice. 

Peter Stockmann: I’ll have to go in a minute. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, nonsense, not with the toddy on the 
table. You haven’t forgotten the toddy, have you, Catherine? 

Mrs. Stockmann: Of course not, I’ve got the water boiling. 
She goes into the dining room. 


23 


An Enemy of the People 


Peter Stockmann: Toddy too? 

Dr. Stockmann: Sure, just sit down and make yourself at 
home. 

Peter Stockmann: No, thanks, I don’t go in for drinking 
parties. 

Dr. Stockmann: But this is no party. 

Peter Stockmann: What else do you call it? He looks toward 
the dining room. It’s extraordinary how you people can con- 
sume all this food and live. 

Dr. Stockmann, rubbing his hands: Why? What’s finer than 
to watch young people eat? Peter, those are the fellows who 
are going to stir up the whole future. 

Peter Stockmann, a little alarmed: Is that so! What’s there 
to stir up? He sits in a chair to the left. 

Dr. Stockmann, walking around: Don’t worry, they’ll let us 
know when the time comes. Old idiots like you and me, we’ll 
be left behind like— 

Peter Stockmann: I’ve never been called before. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, Peter, don’t jump on me every minute! 
You know your trouble, Peter? Your impressions are blunted. 
You ought to sit up there in that crooked corner of the north 
for five years, the way I did, and then come back here. It’s like 
watching the first seven days of creation! 

Peter Stockmann: Here! 

Dr. Stockmann: Things to work and fight for, Peter! With- 
out that you’re dead. Catherine, you sure the mailman came 
today? 


24 


Act One 


Mrs. Stockmann, from the dining room: There wasn’t any 
mail today. 

Dr. Stockmann: And another thing, Peter— a good income; 
that’s something you learn to value after you’ve lived on a 
starvation diet. 

Peter Stockmann: When did you starve? 

Dr. Stockmann: Damned nearl It was pretty tough going a 
lot of the time up there. And now, to be able to live like a 
prince 1 Tonight, for instance, we had roast beef for dinner, 
and, by God, there was enough left for supper too. Please 
have a piece— come here. 

Peter Stockmann: Oh, no, no— please, certainly not. 

Dr. Stockmann: At least let me show it to you I Come in 
here— we even have a tablecloth. He pulls his brother toward 
the dining room. 

Peter Stockmann: I saw it. 

Dr. Stockmann: Live to the hilt I that’s my motto. Anyway, 
Catherine says I’m earning almost as much as we spend. 

Peter Stockmann, refusing an apple: Well, you are improving. 

Dr. Stockmann: Peter, that was a joke! You’re supposed to 
laugh! He sits in the other chair to the left. 

Peter Stockmann: Roast beef twice a day is no joke. 

Dr. Stockmann: Why can’t I give myself the pleasure of hav- 
ing people around me? It’s a necessity for me to see young, 
lively, happy people, free people burning with a desire to do 
something. You’ll see. When Hovstad comes in we’ll talk and— 

Peter Stockmann: Oh, yes, Hovstad. That reminds me. He 
told me he was going to print one of your articles. 


25 


An Enemy of the People 


Dr. Stockmann: One of my articles? 

Peter Stockmann: Yes, about the springs— an article you 
wrote during the winter? 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, that onel In the first place, I don’t want 
that one printed right now. 

Peter Stockmann: No? It sounded to me like it would be 
very timely. 

Dr. Stockmann: Under normal conditions, maybe so. He gets 
up and walks across the floor. 

Peter Stockmann, looking after him: Well, what is abnormal 
about the conditions now? 

Dr. Stockmann, stopping: I can’t say for the moment, Peter— 
at least not tonight. There could be a great deal abnormal 
about conditions; then again, there could be nothing at all. 

Peter Stockmann: Well, you’ve managed to sound mysteri- 
ous. Is there anything wrong? Something you’re keeping from 
me? Because I wish once in a while you’d remind yourself 
that I am chairman of the board for the springs. 

Dr. Stockmann: And I would like you to remember that, 
Peter. Look, let’s not get into each other’s hair. 

Peter Stockmann: I don’t make a habit of getting into peo- 
ple’s hair! But I’d like to underline that everything concern- 
ing Kirsten Springs must be treated in a businesslike manner, 
through the proper channels, and dealt with by the legally 
constituted authorities. I can’t allow anything done behind 
my back in a roundabout way. 

Dr. Stockmann: When did I ever go behind your back, Peter? 
Peter Stockmann: You have an ingrained tendency to go 


26 


Act One 


your own way, Thomas, and that simply can’t go on in a well- 
organized society. The individual really must subordinate 
himself to the over-all, ox— groping for words, he points to 
himself— to the authorities who are in charge of the general 
welfare. He gets up. 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, that’s probably so. But how the hell 
does that concern me, Peter? 

Peter Stockmann: My dear Thomas, this is exactly what you 
will never learn. But you had better watch out because some- 
day you might pay dearly for it. Now I’ve said it. Good-by. 

Dr. Stockmann: Are you out of your mind? You’re absolutely 
on the wrong track. 

Peter Stockmann: I am usually not. Anyway, may I be ex- 
cused? He nods toward the dining room. Good-by, Catherine. 
Good evening, gentlemen. He leaves. 

Mrs. Stockmann, entering the living room: He left? 

Dr. Stockmann: And burned up! 

Mrs. Stockmann: What did you do to him now? 

Dr. Stockmann: What does he want from me? He can't ex- 
pect me to give him an accounting of every move I make, 
every thought I think, until I am ready to do it. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Why? What should you give him an ac- 
counting of? 

Dr. Stockmann, hesitantly: Just leave that to me, Catherine. 
Peculiar the mailman didn’t come today. 

Hovstad, Billing, and Captain Horster have gotten up from 
the dining-room table and enter the living room. Ejlif and 
Morten come in a little later. Catherine exits. 


27 


An Enemy of the People 


Bilung, stretching out his arms: After a meal like that, by 
God, I feel like a new man. This house is so— 

Hovstad, cutting him off: The Mayor certainly wasn’t in a 
glowing mood tonight. 

Dr. Stockmann: It’s his stomach. He has a lousy digestion. 

Hovstad: I think two editors from the People’s Daily Mes- 
senger didn’t help either. 

Dr. Stockmann: No, it’s just that Peter is a lonely man. Poor 
fellow, all he knows is official business and duties, and then 
all that damn weak tea that he pours into himself. Catherine, 
may we have the toddy? 

Mrs. Stockmann, calling from the dining room: I’m just get- 
ting it. 

Dr. Stockmann: Sit down here on the couch with me. Cap- 
tain Horster— a rare guest like you— sit here. Sit down, friends. 

Horster: This used to be such an ugly house. Suddenly it’s 
beautiful I 

Billing and Hovstad sit down at the right. Mrs. Stockmann 
brings a tray with pot, glasses, bottles, etc. on it, and puts it 
on the table behind the couch. 

Billing, to Horster, intimately, indicating Stockmann: Great 
man! 

Mrs. Stockmann: Here you are. Help yourselves. 

Dr. Stockmann, taking a glass: We sure will. He mixes the 
toddy. And the cigars, Ejlif— you know where the box is. And 
Morten, get my pipe. The boys go out to the left. I have a 
sneaking suspicion that Ejlif is snitching a cigar now and 
then, but I don’t pay any attention. Catherine, you know 


28 


Act One 


where I put it? Oh, he’s got it. Good boysl The boys bring the 
various things in. Help yourselves, fellows. I’ll stick to the 
pipe. This one’s gone through plenty of blizzards with me up 
in the north. Skoll He looks around. Homel What an inven- 
tion, heh? 

The boys sit down on the bench near the windows. 

Mrs. Stockmann, who has sat down and is now knitting: Are 
you sailing soon. Captain Horster? 

Horster: I expect to be ready next week. 

Mrs. Stockmann: And then to America, Captain? 

Horster: Yes, that’s the plan. 

Billing: Oh, then you won’t be home for the new election? 
Horster: Is there going to be another election? 

Billing: Didn’t you know? 

Horster: No, I don’t get mixed up in those things. 

Billing: But you are interested in public affairs, aren’t you? 
Horster: Frankly, I don’t understand a thing about it. 

He does, really, although not very much. Captain Horster is 
one of the longest silent roles in dramatic literature, but he is 
not to be thought of as characterless therefor. It is not a bad 
thing to have a courageous, quiet man for a friend, even if it 
has gone out of fashion. 

Mrs. Stockmann, sympathetically: Neither do I, Captain. 
Maybe that’s why I’m always so glad to see you. 

Bilung: Just the same, you ought to vote. Captain. 

Horster: Even if I don’t understand anything about it? 


29 


An Enemy of the People 


Billing: Understand! What do you mean by that? Society, 
Captain, is like a ship— every man should do something to 
help navigate the ship. 

Horster: That may be all right on shore, but on board a ship 
it doesn’t work out so well. 

Petra in hat and coat and with textbooks and notebooks 
under her arm comes into the entrance hall. She is Ibsen’s 
clear-eyed hope for the future— and probably ours. She is 
forthright, determined, and knows the meaning of work, 
which to her is the creation of good on the earth. 

Petra, from the hall: Good evening. 

Dr. Stockmann, warmly: Good evening, Petra! 

Billing, to Horster: Great young woman! 

There are mutual greetings. Petra removes her coat and hat 
and places the books on a chair in the entrance hall. 

Petra, entering the living room: And here you are, lying 
around like lizards while I’m out slaving. 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, you come and be a lizard too. Come 
here, Petra, sit with me. I look at her and say to myself, “How 
did I do it?” 

Petra goes over to her father and kisses him. 

Billing: Shall I mix a toddy for you? 

Petra, coming up to the table: No, thanks, I had better do it 
myself— you always mix it too strong. Oh, Father, I forgot— I 
have a letter for you. She goes to the chair where her books are. 

Dr. Stockmann, alerted: Who’s it from? 

Petra: I met the mailman on the way to school this morning 


30 


Act One 


and he gave me your mail too, and I just didn’t have time to 
run back. 

Dr. Stockmann, getting up and walking toward her: And you 
don’t give it to me until now! 

Petra: I really didn’t have time to run back. Father. 

Mrs. Stockmann: If she didn’t have time . . . 

Dr. Stockmann: Let’s see it— come on, child! He takes the let- 
ter and looks at the envelope. Yes, indeed. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Is that the one you’ve been waiting for? 

Dr. Stockmann: I’ll be right back. There wouldn’t be a light 
on in my room, would there? 

Mrs, Stockmann: The lamp is on the desk, burning away. 

Dr. Stockmann: Please excuse me for a moment. He goes into 
his study and quickly returns. Mrs. Stockmann hands him his 
glasses. He goes out again. 

Petra: What is that, Mother? 

Mrs. Stockmann: I don’t know. The last couple of days he’s 
been asking again and again about the mailman. 

Billing: Probably an out-of-town patient of his. 

Petra: Poor Father, he’s got murh too much to do. She mixes 
her drink. This ought to taste good. 

Hovstad: By the way, what happened to that English novel 
you were going to translate for us? 

Petra: I started it, but I’ve gotten so busy— 

Hovstad: Oh, teaching evening school again? 


3 


An Enemy of the People 


Petra: Two hours a night. 

Billing: Plus the high school every day? 

Petra, sitting down on the couch: Yes, five hours, and every 
night a pile of lessons to correct! 

Mrs. Stockmann: She never stops going. 

Hovstad: Maybe that’s why I always think of you as kind of 
breathless and— well, breathless. 

Petra: I love it. I get so wonderfully tired. 

Bilung, to Horster: She looks tired. 

Morten: You must be a wicked woman, Petra. 

Petra, laughing: Wicked? 

Morten: You work so much. My teacher says that work is a 
punishment for our sins. 

Ejuf: And you believe that? 

Mrs. Stockmann: Ejlif! Of course he believes his teacher! 
Billing, smiling: Don’t stop him . . . 

Hovstad: Don’t you like to work, Morten? 

Morten: Work? No. 

Hovstad: Then what will you ever amount to in this world? 
Morten: Me? I’m going to be a Viking. 

Ejlif: You can’t! You’d have to be a heathen! 

Morten: So I’ll be a heathen. 

Mrs. Stockmann: I think it’s getting late, boys. 

Bilung: I agree with you, Morten. I think— 


32 


Act One 


Mrs. Stockmann, making signs to Billing: You certainly 
don’t, Mr. Billing. 

Bilung: Yes, by God, I do. I am a real heathen and proud ot 
it. You’ll see, pretty soon we’re all going to be heathensl 

Morten: And then we can do anything we wanti 
Billing: Right! You see, Morten— 

Mrs. Stockmann, interrupting: Don’t you have any homework 
for tomorrow, boys? Better go in and do it. 

Ejlif: Oh, can’t we stay in here a while? 

Mrs. Stockmann: No, neither of you. Now run along. 

The boys say good night and go off at the left. 

Hovstad: You really think it hurts them to listen to such talk? 
Mrs. Stockmann; I don’t know, but I don’t like it. 

Dr. Stockmann enters from his study, an open letter in his 
hand. He is like a sleepwalker, astonished, engrossed. He 
walks toward the front door. 

Mrs. Stockmann; Tom! 

He turns, suddenly aware of them. 

Dr. Stockmann: Boys, there is going to be news in this town! 
Billing: News? 

Mrs, Stockmann: What kind of news? 

Dr. Stockmann: A terrific discovery, Catherine. 

Hovstad: Really? 

Mrs. Stockmann: That you made? 

Dr. Stockmann; That I made. He walks hack and forth. Now 


33 


An Enemy of the People 


let the baboons running this town call me a lunaticl Now 
they’d better watch out. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! 

Petra: What is it. Father? 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, if Peter were only here! Now you’ll see 
how human beings can walk around and make judgments like 
blind rats. 

Hovstad: What in the world’s happened. Doctor? 

Dr. Stockmann, stopping at the table: It’s the general opin- 
ion, isn’t it, that our town is a sound and healthy spot? 

Hovstad: Of course. 

Mrs. Stockmann: What happened? 

Dr. Stockmann: Even a rather unusually healthy spot! Oh, 
God, a place that can be recommended not only to all people 
but to sick people! 

Mrs. Stockmann: But, Tom, what are you— 

Dr. Stockmann: And we certainly have recommended it. I 
myself have written and written, in the People's Messenger, 
pamphlets— 

Hovstad: Yes, yes, but— 

Dr. Stockmann: The miraculous springs that cost such a for- 
tune to build, the whole Health Institute, is a pesthole! 

Petra: Father! The springs? 

Mrs. Stockmann, simultaneously: Our springs? 

Billing: That’s unbelievable! 

Dr. Stockmann: You know the filth up in Windmill Valley? 
That stuff that has such a stinking smell? It comes down from 


34 


Act One 


the tannery up there, and the same damn poisonous mess 
comes right out into the blessed, miraculous water we’re sup- 
posed to cure people withl 

Horster: You mean actually where our beaches are? 

Dr. Stockmann: Exactly. ' 

Hovstad: How are you so sure about this. Doctor? 

Dr. Stockmann: I had a suspicion about it a long time ago— 
last year there were too many sick cases among the visitors, 
typhoid and gastric disturbances. 

Mrs. Stockmann: That did happen. I remember Mrs. Sven- 
sen's niece— 

Dr. Stockmann: Yes, dear. At the time we thought that the 
visitors brought the bug, but later this winter I got a new 
idea and I started investigating the water. 

Mrs. Stockmann: So that’s what you’ve been working on! 

Dr. Stockmann: I sent samples of the water to the University 
for an exact chemical analysis. 

Hovstad: And that’s what you have just received? 

Dr. Stockmann, waving the letter again: This is it. It proves 
the existence of infectious organic matter in the water. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Well, thank God you discovered it in time. 
Dr. Stockmann: I think we can say that, Catherine. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Isn’t it wonderful! 

Hovstad: And what do you intend to do now. Doctor? 

Dr. Stockmann: Put the thing right, of course. 

Hovstad: Do you think that can be done? 


35 


An Enemy of the People 


Dr. Stockmann: Maybe. If not, the whole Institute is useless. 
But there’s nothing to worry about— I am quite clear on what 
has to be done. 

Mrs. Stockmann: But, Tom, why did you keep it so secret? 

Dr. Stockmann: What did you want me to do? Go out and 
shoot my mouth off before I really knew? He walks around, 
rubbing his hands. You don’t realize what this means, Cath- 
erine— the whole water system has got to be changed. 

Mrs. Stockmann: The whole water system? 

Dr. Stockmann: The whole water system. The intake is too 
low, it’s got to be raised to a much higher spot. The whole 
construction’s got to be ripped outi 

Petra: Well, Father, at last you can prove they should have 
listened to you! 

Dr. Stockmann: Ha, she remembers! 

Mrs. Stockmann: That’s right, you did warn them— 

Dr. Stockmann: Of course I warned them. When they started 
the damned thing I told them not to build it down there! But 
who am I, a mere scientist, to tell politicians where to build a 
health institute! Well, now they’re going to get it, both 
barrels! 

Billing: This is tremendous! To Horsier: He’s a great man! 

Dr. Stockmann: It’s bigger than tremendous. He starts toward 
his study. Wait’ll they see this! He stops. Petra, my report is 
on my desk . . . Petra goes into his study. An envelope, Cath- 
erine! She goes for it. Gentlemen, this final proof from the 
University— Petra comes out with the report, which he takes— 
and my report— /le flicks the pages— five solid, explosive 
pages . . . 


36 


Act One 


Mrs. Stockmann, handing him an envelope: Is this big 
enough? 

Dr. Stockmann: Fine. Right to the Board of Directors! He 
inserts the report, seals the envelope, and hands it to Cath- 
erine. Will you give tliis to the maid— what’s her name again? 

Mrs. Stockmann: Randine, dear, Randine. 

Dr. Stockmann: Tell our darling Randine to wipe her nose 
and run over to the Mayor right now. 

Mrs. Stockmann just stands there looking at him. 

Dr. Stockmann: What’s the matter, dear? 

Mrs. Stockmann: I don’t know . . . 

Petra: What’s Uncle Peter going to say about this? 

Mrs. Stockmann: That’s what I’m wondering. 

Dr. Stockmann: What can he say! He ought to be damn glad 
that such an important fact is brought out before we start an 
epidemic! Hurry, dear! 

Catherine exits at the left. 

Hovstad: I would like to put a brief item about this discov- 
ery in the Messenger. 

Dr. Stockmann: Go ahead. I’d really be grateful for that now. 
Hovstad: Because the public ought to know soon. 

Dr. Stockmann: Right away. 

Billing: By God, you’ll be the leading man in this town, 
Doctor. 

Dr. Stockmann, walking around with an air of satisfaction: 


37 


An Enemy of the People 


Oh, there was nothing to it. Every detective gets a lucky break 
once in his life. But just the same I— 

Billing: Hovstad, don’t you think the town ought to pay Dr. 
Stockmann some tribute? 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, no, no . . . 

Hovstad: Sure, let’s all put in a word for— 

Billing: I’ll talk to Aslaksen about it! 

Catherine enters. 

Dr. Stockmann: No, no, fellows, no fooling around! I won’t 
put up with any commotion. Even if the Board of Directors 
wants to give me an increase I won’t take it— I just won’t take 
it, Catherine. 

Mrs. Stockmann, dutifully: That’s right, Tom. 

Petra, lifting her glass: Skol, Father! 

Everybody: Skol, Doctor! 

Horster: Doctor, I hope this will bring you great honor and 
pleasure. 

Dr. Stockmann: Thanks, friends, thanks. There’s one bless- 
ing above all others. To have earned the respect of one’s 
neighbors is— is— Catherine, I’m going to dance! 

He grabs his wife and whirls her around. There are shouts 
and struggles, general commotion. The boys in nightgowns 
stick their heads through the doorway at the right, wondering 
what is going on. Mrs. Stockmann, seeing them, breaks away 
and chases them upstairs as 


The Curtain Falls. 




Dr. Stockmann’s living room the following morning. As the 
curtain rises, Mrs. Stockmann comes in from the dining room, 
a sealed letter in her hand. She goes to the study door and 
peeks in. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Are you there, Tom? 

Dr. Stockmann, from within: I just got in. He enters the liv- 
ing room. What's up? 

Mrs. Stockmann: From Peter. It just came. She hands him 
the envelope. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, let's see. He opens the letter and reads: 
“I am returning herewith the report you submitted . . He 
continues to read, mumbling to himself. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Well, what does he say? Don't stand there! 

Dr. Stockmann, putting the letter in his pocket: He just says 
he'll come around this afternoon. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Oh. Well, maybe you ought to try to re- 
member to be home then. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, I sure will. I'm through with my morn- 
ing visits anyway. 

Mrs. Stockmann: I'm dying to see how he's going to take it. 


39 


An Enemy of the People 


Dr. Stockmann: Why, is there any doubt? He’ll probably 
make it look like he made the discovery, not I. 

Mrs. Stockmann: But aren’t you a little bit afraid of that? 
Dr. Stockmann: Oh, underneath he’ll be happy, Catherine. 
It’s just that Peter is so afraid that somebody else is going to 
do something good for this town. 

Mrs. Stockmann: I wish you’d go out of your way and share 
the honors with him. Couldn’t we say that he put you on the 
right track or something? 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, I don’t mind— as long as it makes every- 
body happy. 

Morten Kill sticks his head through the doorway. He looks 
around searchingly and chuckles. He will continue chuckling 
until he leaves the house. He is the archetype of the little 
twinkle-eyed man who sneaks into so much of Ibsen’s work. 
He will chuckle you right over the precipice. He is the dealer, 
the man with the rat’s finely tuned brain. But he is sometimes 
likable because he is without morals and announces the fact 
by laughing. 

Kiil, slyly: Is it really true? 

Mrs. Stockmann, walking toward him: Father! 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, good morning! 

Mrs. Stockmann: Come on in. 

Kiil: It better be true or I’m going. 

Dr. Stockmann: What had better be true? 

Kiil: This crazy story about the water system. Is it true? 

Mrs. Stockmann: Of course it’s true! How did you find out 
about it? 


40 


Act One 


Khl: Petra came flying by on her way to school this morning. 
Dr. Stockmann: Oh, she did? 

Khl: Ya. I thought she was trying to make a fool out of me— 

Mrs. Stockmann: Now why would she do that? 

Kiil: Nothing gives more pleasure to young people than to 
make fools out of old people. But this is true, eh? 

Dr. Stockmann: Of course it’s true. Sit down here. It’s pretty 
lucky for the town, eh? 

Kiil, fighting his laughter: Lucky for the townl 

Dr. Stockmann: I mean, that I made the discovery before it 
was too late. 

Kiil: Tom, I never thought you had the imagination to pull 
your own brother’s leg like this. 

Dr. Stockmann: Pull his leg? 

Mrs. Stockmann: But, Father, he’s not— 

Kiil: How does it go now, let me get it straight. There’s some 
kind of— like cockroaches in the waterpipes— 

Dr. Stockmann, laughing: No, not cockroaches., 

Kiil: Well, some kind of little animals. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Bacteria, Father. 

Kiil, who can barely speak through his laughter: Ah, but a 
whole mess of them, eh? 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh,.there’d be millions and millions. 

Kiil: And nobody can see them but you, is that it? 


41 


An Enemy of the People 


Dr. Stockmann: Yes, that’s— well, of course anybody with a 
micro— He breaks off. What are you laughing at? 

Mrs. Stockmann, smiling at Kiil: You don’t understand. 
Father. Nobody can actually see bacteria, but that doesn’t 
mean they’re not there. 

Kiil: Good girl, you stick with him! By God, this is the best 
thing I ever heard in my life! 

Dr. Stockmann, smiling: What do you mean? 

Kiil: But tell me, you think you are actually going to get 
your brother to believe this? 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, we’ll see soon enough! 

Kiil: You really think he’s that crazy? 

Dr. Stockmann: I hope the whole town will be that crazy, 
Morten. 

Kiil: Ya, they probably are, and it’ll serve them right too— 
they think they’re so much smarter than us old-timers. Your 
good brother ordered them to bounce me out of the council, 
so they chased me out like a dog! Make jackasses out of all of 
them, Stockmann! 

Dr. Stockmann: Yes, but, Morten— 

Kiil: Long-eared, short-tailed jackasses! He gets up. Stock- 
mann, if you can make the Mayor and his elegant friends grab 
at this bait, I will give a couple of hundred crowns to charity, 
and right now, right on the spot. 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, that would be very kind of you, but 
I’m— 

Kiil: I haven’t got much to play around with, but if you can 


42 


I 


Act One 


pull the rug out from under him with this cockroach business. 
I’ll give at least fifty crowns to some poor people on Christmas 
Eve. Maybe this’ll teach them to put some brains back in Town 
Halil 

Hovstad enters pom the hall. 

Hovstad: Good morningl Oh, pardon me . . . 

Kiil, enjoying this proof immensely: Oh, this one is in on it, 
too? 

Hovstad: What’s that, sir? 

Dr. Stockmann: Of course he’s in on it. 

] Kiil: Couldn’t I have guessed thatl And it’s going to be in 
the papers, I suppose. You’re sure tying down the corners, 
aren’t you? Well, lay it on thick. I’ve got to go. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, no, stay a while, let me explain it to 
you! 

Kiil: Oh, I get it, don’t worryl Only you can see them, heh? 
That’s the best idea I’ve ever— damn it, you shouldn’t do this 
for nothing! He goes toward the hall. 

Mrs. Stockmann, following him out, laughing: But, Father, 
you don’t understand about bacteria. 

Dr. Stockmann, laughing: The old badger doesn’t believe a 
word of it. 

Hovstad: What does he think you’re doing? 

Dr. Stockmann: Making an idiot out of my brother— imagine 
that? 

Hovstad: You got a few minutes? 

Dr. Stockmann: Sure, as long as you like. 


43 


An Enemy of the People 


Hovstad: Have you heard from the Mayor? 

Dr. Stockmann: Only that he’s coming over later. 

Hovstad: I’ve been thinking about this since last night— 
Dr. Stockmann: Don’t say? 

Hovstad: For you as a medical man, a scientist, this is a really 
rare opportunity. But I’ve been wondering if you realize that 
it ties in with a lot of other things. 

Dr. Stockmann: How do you mean? Sit down. They sit at the 
right. What are you driving at? 

Hovstad: You said last night that the pollution comes from 
impurities in the ground— 

Dr. Stockmann: It comes from the poisonous dump up in 
Windmill Valley. 

Hovstad: Doctor, I think it comes from an entirely different 
dump. 

Dr. Stockmann: What do you mean? 

Hovstad, with growing zeal: The same dump that is poison- 
ing and polluting our whole social life in this town. 

Dr. Stockmann: For God’s sake, Hovstad, what are you bab- 
bling about? 

Hovstad: Everything that matters in this town has fallen into 
the hands of a few bureaucrats. 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, they’re not all bureaucrats— 

Hovstad: They’re all rich, all with old reputable names, and 
they’ve got everything in the palm of their hands. 


44 


Act One 


Dr. Stockmann: Yes, but they happen to have ability and 
knowledge. 

|Hovstad: Did they show ability and knowledge when they 
built the water system where they did? 

Dr. Stockmann: No, o£ course not, but that happened to be 
a blunder, and we’ll clear it up now. 

|Hovstad: You really imagine it’s going to be as easy as all 
that? 

Dr. Stockmann: Easy or not^easy, it’s got to be done. 

iHovsTAD: Doctor, I’ve made up my mind to give this whole 

I scandal very special treatment. 

Dr. Stockmann: Now wait. You can’t call it a scandal yet. 

IHovstad: Doctor, when I took over the People’s Messenger 

I I swore I’d blow that smug cabal of old, stubborn, self-satisfied 
I fogies to bits. This is the story that can do it. 

Dr. Stockmann: But I still think we owe them a deep debt 
. of gratitude for building the springs. 

f 

' Hovstad: The Mayor being your brother, I wouldn’t ordi- 
narily want to touch it, but I know you’d never let that kind 
of thing obstruct the truth. 

i DR. Stockmann: Of course not, but . . . 

Hovstad: I want you to understand me. I don’t have to tell 
you I come from a simple family. I know in my bones what 
I the underdog needs— he’s got to have a say in the government 
of society. That’s what brings out ability, intelligence, and 
I self-respect in people. 

) Dr. Stockmann: I understand that, but . . . 


45 


An Enemy of the People 


Hovstad: I think a newspaperman who turns down any chance 
to give the underdog a lift is taking on a responsibility that 
I don’t want. I know perfectly well that in fancy circles they 
call it agitation, and they can call it anything they like if it 
makes them happy, but I have my own conscience— 

Dr. Stockmann, interrupting: I agree with you, Hovstad, but 
this is just the water supply and— There is a knock on the 
door. Damn itl Come in! 

Mr. Aslaksen, the publisher, enters from the hall. He is simply 
but neatly dressed. He wears gloves and carries a hat and an 
umbrella in his hand. He is so utterly drawn it is unnecessary 
to say anything at all about him. 

Aslaksen: I beg your pardon. Doctor, if I intrude . . . 

Hovstad, standing up: Are you looking for me, Aslaksen? 

Aslaksen; No, I didn’t know you were here. I want to see the 
Doctor. 

Dr. Stockmann: What can I do for you? 

Aslaksen: Is it true. Doctor, what I hear from Mr. Billing, 
that you intend to campaign for a better water system? 

Dr. Stockmann: Yes, for the Institute. But it’s not a cam- 
paign. 

Aslaksen: I just wanted to call and tell you that we are be- 
hind you a hundred per cent. 

Hovstad, to Dr. Stockmann: There, you see! 

Dr. Stockmann: Mr. Aslaksen, I thank you with all my heart. 
But you see— 

Aslaksen: We can be important. Doctor. When the little busi- 


46 


Act One 


nessman wants to push something through, he turns out to 
be the majority, you know, and it’s always good to have the 
majority on your side. 

I Dr. Stockmann: That’s certainly true, but I don’t understand 
l^what this is all about. It seems to me it’s a simple, straight- 
forward business. The water— 

([Aslaksen: Of course we intend to behave with moderation, 
I Doctor. I always try to be a moderate and careful man. 

^Dr. Stockmann: You are known for that, Mr. Aslaksen, but— 

i^Aslaksen: The water system is very important to us little 
businessmen, Doctor. Kirsten Springs are becoming a gold 
I mine for this town, especially for the property owners, and 
that is why, in my capacity as chairman of the Property Own- 
ers Association— 

I Dr. Stockmann: Yes. 

j Aslaksen: And furthermore, as a representative of the Tem- 
perance Society— You probably know. Doctor, that I am active 
'' for prohibition. 

[ Dr. Stockmann: So I have heard. 

Aslaksen: As a result, I come into contact with all kinds of 
people, and since I am known to be a law-abiding and solid 
citizen, I have a certain influence in this town— you might 
even call it a little power. 

Dr. Stockmann: I know that very well, Mr. Aslaksen. 

Aslaksen: That’s why you can see that it would be practically 
nothing for me to arrange a demonstration. 

Dr. Stockmann: Demonstration! What are you going to dem- 
onstrate about? 


47 


An Enemy of the People 


Aslaksen: The citizens of the town complimenting you for 
bringing this important matter to everybody’s attention. Ob- 
viously it would have to be done with the utmost moderation 
so as not to hurt the authorities. 

Hovstad: This could knock the big-bellies right into the gar- 
bage canl 

Aslaksen: No indiscretion or extreme aggressiveness toward 
the authorities, Mr. Hovstadl I don’t want any wild-eyed rad- 
icalism on this thing. I’ve had enough of that in my time, 
and no good ever comes of it. But for a good solid citizen to 
express his calm, frank, and free opinion is something nobody 
can deny. 

Dr. Stockmann, shaking the publishers hand: My dear As- 
laksen, I can’t tell you how it heartens me to hear this kind of 
support. I am happy— I really am— I’m happy. Listen! Wouldn’t 
you like a glass of sherry? 

Aslaksen: I am a member of the Temperance Society. I— 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, how about a glass of beer? 

Aslaksen, considers, then: I don’t think I can go quite that 
far. Doctor. I never take anything. Well, good day, and I want 
you to remember that the little man is behind you like a wall. 

Dr. Stockmann: Thank you. 

Aslaksen: You have the solid majority on your side, because 
when the little— 

Dr. Stockmann, trying to stop Aslaksen’s talk: Thanks for 
that, Mr. Aslaksen, and good day. 

Aslaksen: Are you going back to the printing shop, Mr. 
Hovstad? 


48 


Act One 


Hovstad: I just have a thing or two to attend to here. 
Aslaksen: Very well. He leaves. 

Hovstad: Well, what do you say to a little hypodermic for 
ithese fence-sitting deadheads? 

[Dr. Stockmann, surprised: Why? I think Aslaksen is a very 
[Sincere man. 


Hovstad: Isn’t it time we pumped some guts into these well- 
intentioned men of good will? Under all their liberal talk 
they still idolize authority, and that’s got to be rooted out of 
,this town. This blunder of the water system has to be made 
clear to every voter. Let me print your report. 

Dr. Stockmann: Not until I talk to my brother. 


Hovstad: I’ll write an editorial in the meantime, and if the 
Mayor won’t go along with us— 

Idr. Stockmann: I don’t see how you can imagine such a 
thing! 


Hovstad: Believe me. Doctor, it’s possible, and then— 


Dr. Stockmann: Listen, I promise you: he will go along, and 
then you can print my report, every word of it. 


Ihovstad: On your word of honor? 


Dr. Stockmann, giving Hovstad the manuscript: Here it is. 
{Take it. It can’t do any harm for you to read it. Return it to 
|me later. 

Hovstad: Good day. Doctor. 

iDr. Stockmann: Good day. You’ll see, it’s going to be easier 
[than you think, Hovstad! 


49 


An Enemy of the People 


Hovstad: I hope so. Doctor. Sincerely. Let me know as soon 
as you hear from His Honor. He leaves. 

Dr. Stockmann, goes to dining room and looks in: Catherinel 
Oh, you’re home already, Petral 

Petra, coming in: I just got back from school. 

Mrs. Stockmann, entering: Hasn’t he been here yet? 

Dr. Stockmann: Peter? No, but I just had a long chat with 
Hovstad. He’s really fascinated with my discovery, and you 
know, it has more implications that I thought at first. Do you 
know what I have backing me up? 

Mrs. Stockmann: What in heaven’s name have you got back- 
ing you up? 

Dr. Stockmann: The solid majority. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Is that good? 

Dr. Stockmann: Good? It’s wonderful. You can’t imagine 
the feeling, Catherine, to know that your own town feels like 
a brother to you. I have never felt so at home in this town 
since I was a boy. A noise is heard. 

Mrs. Stockmann: That must be the front door. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, it’s Peter then. Come in. 

Peter Stockmann, entering from the hall: Good morning! 
Dr. Stockmann: It’s nice to see you, Peter. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Good morning. How are you today? 

Peter Stockmann: Well, so so. To Dr. Stockmann: I received 
your thesis about the condition of the springs yesterday. 

Dr. Stockmann: I got your note. Did you read it? 


50 


Act One 


Peter Stockmann: I read it. 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, what do you have to say? 

Peter Stockmann clears his throat and glances at the women. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Come on, Petra. She and Petra leave the 
room at the left. 

Peter Stockmann, after a moment: Thomas, was it really 
necessary to go into this investigation behind my back? 

Dr. Stockmann: Yes. Until I was convinced myself, there was 
no point in— 

Peter Stockmann: And now you are convinced? 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, certainly. Aren’t you too, Peter? Pause. 
The University chemists corroborated . . . 

Peter Stockmann: You intend to present this document to 
the Board of Directors, officially, as the medical officer of the 
springs? 

Dr. Stockmann: Of course, something’s got to be done, and 
quick. 

Peter Stockmann: You always use such strong expressions, 
Thomas. Among other things, in your report you say that we 
guarantee our guests and visitors a permanent case of poison- 
ing. 

Dr. Stockmann: But, Peter, how can you describe it any 
other way? Imaginel Poisoned internally and externally! 

Peter Stockmann: So you merrily conclude that we must ^ 
build a waste-disposal plant— and reconstruct a brand-new 
water system from the bottom up! 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, do you know some other way out? I 
don’t. 


51 


An Enemy of the People 


Peter Stockmann; I took a little walk over to the city engi- 
neer this morning and in the course of conversation I sort of 
jokingly mentioned these changes— as something we might 
consider for the future, you know. 

Dr. Stockmann: The future won’t be soon enough, Peter. 

Peter Stockmann: The engineer kind of smiled at my ex- 
travagance and gave me a few facts. I don’t suppose you have 
taken the trouble to consider what your proposed changes 
would cost? 

Dr. Stockmann: No, I never thought of that. 

Peter Stockmann: Naturally. Your little project would come 
to at least three hundred thousand crowns. 

Dr. Stockmann, astonished: That expensive! 

Peter Stockmann: Oh, don’t look so upset— it’s only money. 
The worst thing is that it would take some two years. 

Dr. Stockmann: Two years? 

Peter Stockmann: At the least. And what do you propose we 
do about the springs in the meantime? Shut them up, no 
doubt! Because we would have to, you know. As soon as the 
rumor gets around that the water is dangerous, we won’t have 
a visitor left. So that’s the picture, Thomas. You have it in 
your power literally to ruin your own town. 

Dr. Stockmann: Now look, Peter! I don’t want to ruin any- 
thing. 

Peter Stockmann: Kirsten Springs are the blood supply of 
this town, Thomas— the only future we’ve got here. Now will 
you stop and think? 

Dr. Stockmann: Good God! Well, what do you think we 
ought to do? 


52 


Act One 


Peter Stockmann: Your report has not convinced me that 
the conditions are as dangerous as you try to make them. 

Dr. Stockmann; Now listen; they are even worse than the 
report makes them out to be. Remember, summer is coming, 
and the warm weatherl 

Peter Stockmann: I think you’re exaggerating. A capable 
physician ought to know what precautions to take. 

Dr. Stockmann: And what then? 

Peter Stockmann: The existing water supply for the springs 
is a fact, Thomas, and has got to be treated as a fact. If you 
arfe reasonable and act with discretion, the directors of the 
Institute will be inclined to take under consideration any 
means to make possible improvements, reasonably and with- 
out financial sacrifices. 

Dr. Stockmann: Peter, do you imagine that I would ever 
agree to such trickery? 

^Peter Stockmann: Trickery? 

Dr. Stockmann: Yes, a trick, a fraud, a lie! A treachery, a 
downright crime, against the public and against the whole 
community! 

Peter Stockmann: I said before that I am not convinced that 
|there is any actual danger. 

IiDr. Stockmann: Oh, you aren’t? Anything else is impossible! 
My report is an absolute fact. Tl^e only trouble is that you 
and your administration were the I ones who insisted that the 
water supply be built where it is, and now you’re afraid to 
admit the blunder you committed. Damn it! Don’t you think 
^I can see through it all? 


53 


An Enemy of the People 


Peter Stockmann: All right, let’s suppose that’s true. Maybe 
I do care a little about my reputation. I still say I do it for 
the good of the town— without moral authority there can be 
no government. And that is why, Thomas, it is my duty to 
prevent your report from reaching the Board. Some time later 
I will bring up the matter for discussion. In the meantime, 
not a single word is to reach the public. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, my dear Peter, do you imagine you can 
prevent that! 

Peter Stockmann: It will be prevented. 

Dr. Stockmann: It can’t be. There are too many people who 
already know about it. 

Peter Stockmann, angered: Who? It can’t possibly be those 
people from the Daily Messenger who— 

Dr. Stockmann: Exactly. The liberal, free, and independent 
press will stand up and do its duty! 

Peter Stockmann: You are an unbelievably irresponsible 
man, Thomas! Can’t you imagine what consequences that 
is going to have for you? 

Dr. Stockmann: For me? 

Peter Stockmann: Yes, for you and your family. 

Dr. Stockmann: What the hell are you saying now! 

Peter Stockmann: I believe I have the right to think of my- 
self as a helpful brother, Thomas. 

Dr. Stockmann: You have been, and I thank you deeply for 
it. 

Peter Stockmann: Don’t mention it. I often couldn’t help 


54 


Act One 


myself. I had hoped that by improving your finances I would 
be able to keep you from running completely hog wild. 

Dr. Stockmann: You mean it was only for your own sake? 

Peter Stockmann: Partly, yes. What do you imagine people 
think of an official whose closest relatives get themselves into 
trouble time and time again? 

Dr. Stockmann: And that’s what I have done? 

Peter Stockmann: You do it without knowing it. You’re like 
a man with an automatic brain— as soon as an idea breaks 
into your head, no matter how idiotic it may be, you get up 
like a sleepwalker and start writing a pamphlet about it. 

Dr. Stockmann: Peter, don’t you think it’s a citizen’s duty to 
share a new idea with the public? 

Peter Stockmann: The public doesn’t need new ideas— the 
public is much better off with old ideas. 

Dr. Stockmann: You’re not even embarrassed to say that? 

Peter Stockmann: Now look, I’m going to lay this out once 
and for all. You’re always barking about authority. If a man 
gives you an order he’s persecuting you. Nothing is important 
enough to respect once you decide to revolt against your su- 
periors. All right then, I give up. I’m not going to try to 
change you any more. I told you the stakes you are playing 
for here, and now I am going to give you an order. And I 
warn you, you had better obey it if you value your career. 

Dr. Stockmann: What kind of an order? 

Peter Stockmann: You are going to deny these rumors offi- 
cially. 

Dr. Stockmann: How? 


55 


An Enemy o£ the People 


Peter Stockmann: You simply say that you went into the ex- 
amination of the water more thoroughly and you find that 
you overestimated the danger. 

Dr. Stockmann: I see. 

Peter Stockmann: And that you have complete confidence 
that whatever improvements are needed, the management 
will certainly take care of them. 

Dr. Stockmann, after a pause: My convictions come from the 
condition of the water. My convictions will change when the 
water changes, and for no other reason. 

Peter Stockmann: What are you talking about convictions? 
You’re an official, you keep your convictions to yourself! 

Dr. Stockmann: To myself? 

Peter Stockmann: As an official, I said. God knows, as a 
private person that’s something else, but as a subordinate em- 
ployee of the Institute, you have no right to express any con- 
victions or personal opinions about anything connected with 
policy. 

Dr. Stockmann: Now you listen to me. I am a doctor and a 
scientist— 

Peter Stockmann: This has nothing to do with science! 

Dr. Stockmann: Peter, I have the right to express my opinion 
on anything in the world! 

Peter Stockmann: Not about the Institute— that I forbid. 

Dr. Stockmann: You forbid! 

Peter Stockmann: I forbid you as your superior, and when I 
give orders you obey. 


56 


Act One 


Dr. Stockmann: Peter, if you weren’t my brother— 

Petra, throwing the door at the left open: Father! You aren't 
going to stand for this! She enters. 

Mrs. Stockmann, coming in after her: Petra, Petra! 

Peter Stockmann: What have you two been doing, eaves- 
dropping? 

Mrs. Stockmann: You were talking so loud we couldn’t 
help . . . 

Petra: Yes, I was eavesdropping! 

Peter Stockmann: That makes me very happy. 

Dr. Stockmann, approaching his brother: You said some- 
thing to me about forbidding— 

Peter Stockmann: You forced me to. 

Dr. Stockmann: So you want me to spit in my own face ofi&- 
cially— is that it? 

Peter Stockmann: Why must you always be so colorful? 

Dr. Stockmann: And if I don’t obey? 

Peter Stockmann: Then we will publish our own statement, 
to calm the public. 

Dr. Stockmann: Good enough! And I will write against you. 
I will stick to what I said, and I will prove that I am right 
and that you are wrong, and what will you do then? 

Peter Stockmann: Then I simply won’t be able to prevent 
your dismissal. 

Dr. Stockmann: What! 


57 


An Enemy o£ the People 


Petra; Fatherl 

Peter Stockmann: Dismissed from the Institute is what I 
said. If you want to make war on Kirsten Springs, you have 
no right to be on the Board of Directors. 

Dr. Stockmann, after a pause: You’d dare to do that? 

Peter Stockmann: Oh, no, you’re the daring man. 

Petra: Uncle, this is a rotten way to treat a man like Father! 

Mrs. Stockmann: Will you be quiet, Petra! 

Peter Stockmann: So young and you’ve got opinions already 
—but that’s natural. To Mrs. Stockmann: Catherine dear, 
you’re probably the only sane person in this house. Knock 
some sense into his head, will you? Make him realize what he’s 
driving his whole family into. 

Dr. Stockmann: My family concerns nobody but myself. 

Peter Stockmann: His family and his own town. 

Dr. Stockmann: I’m going to show you who loves his town. 
The people are going to get the full stink of this corruption, 
Peter, and then we will see who loves his town! 

Peter Stockmann: You love your town when you blindly, 
spitefully, stubbornly go ahead trying to cut off our most im- 
portant industry? 

Dr. Stockmann: That source is poisoned, man. We are get- 
ting fat by peddling filth and corruption to innocent people! 

Peter Stockmann: I think this has gone beyond opinions and 
convictions, Thomas. A man who can throw that kind of in- 
sinuation around is nothing but a traitor to society! 


58 


Act One 


Dr. Stockmann, starting toward his brother in a fury: How 
dare you to— 

Mrs. Stockmann, stepping between them: Tom! 

Petra, grabbing her father’s arm: Be careful. Father! 

Peter Stockmann, with dignity: I won't expose myself to vio- 
lence. You have been warned. Consider what you owe your- 
[jself and your family! Good day! He exits. 

Dr. Stockmann, walking up and down: He’s insulted. He’s 
insulted! 

^ Mrs. Stockmann; It’s shameful, Tom. 

I Petra: Oh, I would love to give him a piece of my mind! 

Dr. Stockmann: It was my own fault! I should have shown my 
I teeth right from the beginning. He called me a traitor to so- 
ciety. Me! Damn it all, that’s not going to stick! 

Mrs. Stockmann: Please, think! He’s got all the power on his 
side. 

I Dr. Stockmann: Yes, but I have the truth on mine. 

I Mrs. Stockmann: Without power, what good is the truth? 

Petra; Mother, how can you say such a thing? 

Dr. Stockmann: That’s ridiculous, Catherine. I have the lib- 
[ eral press with me, and the majority. If that isn’t power, 
what is? 

Mrs. Stockmann: But, for heaven’s sake, Tom, you aren’t 
[I going to- 

Dr. Stockmann: What am I not going to do? 


59 


An Enemy of the People 


Mrs. Stockmann: You aren’t going to fight it out in public 
with your brother! 

Dr. Stockmann: What the hell else do you want me to do? 

Mrs. Stockmann: But it won’t do you any earthly good. If 
they won’t do it, they won’t. All you’ll get out of it is a notice 
that you’re fired. 

Dr. Stockmann: I am going to do my duty, Catherine. Me, the 
man he calls a traitor to society! 

Mrs. Stockmann: And how about your duty toward your 
family— the people you’re supposed to provide for? 

Petra: Don’t always think of us first. Mother. 

Mrs. Stockmann, to Petra: You can talk! If worst comes to 
worst, you can manage for yourself. But what about the boys, 
Tom, and you and me? 

Dr. Stockmann: What about you? You want me to be the 
miserable animal who’d crawl up the boots of that damn 
gang? Will you be happy if I can’t face myself the rest of my 
life? 

Mrs. Stockmann: Tom, Tom, there’s so much injustice in the 
world! You’ve simply got to learn to live with it. If you go on 
this way, God help us, we’ll have no money again. Is it so 
long since the north that you’ve forgotten what it was to 
live like we lived? Haven’t we had enough of that for one 
lifetime? The boys enter. What will happen to them? We’ve 
got nothing if you’re fired! 

Dr. Stockmann: Stop it! He looks at the boys. Well, boys, did 
you learn anything in school today? 

Morten, looking at them, puzzled: We learned what an in- 
sect is. 


6o 


Act One 


Dr. Stockmann: You don't sayl 

Morten: What happened here? Why is everybody— 

Dr. Stockmann: Nothing, nothing. You know what I’m going 
to do, boys? From now on I’m going to teach you what a man 
is. He looks at Mrs. Stockmann. She cries as 

The Curtain Falls. 


6i 


- f’" 

- T. • • • • -^ 





The editorial office of the People’s Daily Messenger. At the 
back of the room, to the left, is a door leading to the printing 
room. Near it, in the left wall, is another door. At the right 
of the stage is the entrance door. In the middle of the room 
there is a large table covered with papers, newspapers, and 
books. Around it are a few chairs. A writing desk stands 
against the right wall. The room is dingy and cheerless, the 
furniture shabby. 

As the curtain rises. Billing is sitting at the desk, reading 
the manuscript. Hovstad comes in after a moment from the 
printing room. Billing looks up. 

Bilung: The Doctor not come yet? 

Hovstad: No, not yet. You finish it? 

Billing holds up a hand to signal “just a moment.” He reads 
on, the last paragraph of the manuscript. Hovstad comes and 
stands over him, reading with him. Now Billing closes the 
manuscript, glances up at Hovstad with some trepidation, 
then looks off. Hovstad, looking at Billing, walks a few steps 
away. 

Hovstad: Well? What do you think of it? 

Billing, with some hesitation: It’s devastating. The Doctor is 
a brilliant man. I swear, I myself never really understood how 


63 


An Enemy of the People 


incompetent those fat fellows are, on top. He picks up the 
manuscript and waves it a little. I hear the rumble of revolu- 
tion in this. 

Hovstad, looking toward the door: Ssshl Aslaksen’s inside. 

Billing: Aslaksen’s a coward. With all that moderation talk, 
all he’s saying is, he’s yellow. You’re going to print this, aren’t 
you? 

Hovstad: Sure, I’m just waiting for the Doctor to give the 
word. If his brother hasn’t given in, we put it on the press 
anyway. 

Billing: Yes, but if the Mayor’s against this it’s going to get 
pretty rough. You know that, don’t you? 

Hovstad: Just let him try to block the reconstruction— the 
little businessmen and the whole town’ll be screaming for his 
head. Aslaksen’ll see to that. 

Billing, ecstatically: The stockholders’ll have to lay out a for- 
tune of money if this goes through 1 

Hovstad: My boy, I think it’s going to bust them. And when 
the springs go busted, the people are finally going to under- 
stand the level of genius that’s been running this town. Those 
five sheets of paper are going to put in a liberal administra- 
tion once and for all. 

Billing: It’s a revolution. You know that? With hope and 
fear: I mean it, we’re on the edge of a real revolution! 

Dr. Stockmann, entering: Put it on the press! 

Hovstad, excited: Wonderful! What did the Mayor say? 

Dr. Stockmann: The Mayor has declared war, so war is what 


64 


Act Two 


it’s going to be! He takes the manuscript from Billing. And 
this is only the beginning! You know what he tried to do? 

Billing, calling into the printing room: Mr. Aslaksen, the 
Doctor’s here! 

Dr. Stockmann, continuing: He actually tried to blackmail 
me! He’s got the nerve to tell me that I’m not allowed to 
speak my mind without his permission! Imagine the shame- 
less effrontery! 

Ho VST ad: He actually said it right out? 

Dr. Stockmann: Right to my face! The trouble with me was 
I kept giving them credit for being our kind of people, but 
they’re dictators! They’re people who’ll try to hold power 
even if they have to poison the town to do it. 

Toward the last part of Dr. Stockmann’s speech Aslaksen 
enters. 

Aslaksen: Now take it easy. Doctor, you— you mustn’t always 
be throwing accusations. I’m with you, you understand, but 
moderation— 

Dr. Stockmann, cutting him off: What’d you think of the ar- 
ticle, Hovstad? 

Hovstad: It’s a masterpiece. In one blow you’ve managed to 
prove beyond any doubt what kind of men are running us. 

Aslaksen: May we print it now, then? 

Dr. Stockmann: I should say so! 

Hovstad: We’ll have it ready for tomorrow’s paper. 

Dr. Stockmann: And listen, Mr. Aslaksen, do me a favor, will 
you? You run a fine paper, but supervise the printing per- 


An Enemy of the People 


sonally, eh? I’d hate to see the weather report stuck into the 
middle of my article. 

Aslaksen, laughing: Don’t worry, that won’t happen this timel 

Dr. Stockmann: Make it perfect, eh? Like you were printing 
money. You can’t imagine how I’m dying to see it in print. 
After all the lies in the papers, the half-lies, the quarter-lies— 
to finally see the absolute, unvarnished truth about some- 
thing important. And this is only the beginning. We’ll go on 
to other subjects and blow up every lie we live byl What do 
you say, Aslaksen? 

Aslaksen, nodding in agreement: But just remember . . . 
Billing and Hovstad together with Aslaksen: Moderation! 

Aslaksen, to Billing and Hovstad: I don’t know what’s so 
funny about that! 

Billing, enthralled: Doctor Stockmann, I feel as though I 
were standing in some historic painting. Goddammit, this is a 
historic day! Someday this scene’ll be in a museum, entitled, 
“The Day the Truth Was Born.’’ 

Dr. Stockmann, suddenly: Oh! I’ve got a patient half- 
bandaged down the street. He leaves. 

Hovstad, to Aslaksen: I hope you realize how useful he could 
be to us. 

Aslaksen: I don’t like that business about “this is only the 
beginning.’’ Let him stick to the springs. 

Billing: What makes you so scared all the time? 

Aslaksen: I have to live here. It’d be different if he were at- 
tacking the national government or something, but if he 


66 


Act Two 


thinks I’m going to start going after the whole town admin- 
istration— 

Billing: What’s the difference? Bad is badl 

Aslaksen: Yes, but there is a difference. You attack the na- 
tional government, what’s going to happen? Nothing. They 
go right on. But a town administration— they’re liable to be 
overthrown or somethingl I represent the small property 
owners in this town— 

Billing: Ha! It’s always the same. Give a man a little prop- 
erty and the truth can go to hell! 

II 

Aslaksen: Mr. Billing, I’m older than you are. I’ve seen fire- 
I eaters before. You know who used to work at that desk be- 
fore you? Councilman Stensford— cownci/man/ 

Billing: Just because I work at a renegade’s desk, does that 
I mean— 

Aslaksen: You’re a politician. A politician never knows 
where he’s going to end up. And besides you applied for a job 
as secretary to the Magistrate, didn’t you? 

Hovstad, surprised, laughs: Billing! 

Billing, to Hovstad: Well, why not? If I get it I’ll have a 
chance to put across some good things. I could put plenty of 
big boys on the spot with a job like that! 

Aslaksen: All right, I’m just saying. He goes to the printing- 
room, door. People change. Just remember when you call me 
a coward— I may not have made the hot speeches, but I never 
went back on my beliefs either. Unlike some of the big radi- 
cals around here, I didn’t change. Of course, I am a little 
more moderate, but moderation is— 


67 


An Enemy of the People 


Hovstad; Oh, GodI 


f 


Aslaksen: I don’t see what’s so funny about that! He glares a ] 
Hovstad and goes out. 

Billing: If we could get rid of him we— 

Hovstad: Take it easy— he pays the printing bill, he’s not thal 
bad. He picks up the manuscript. I’ll get the printer on this, 
He starts out. 

Billing: Say, Hovstad, how about asking Stockmann to back 
us? Then we could really put out a paperl 

Hovstad: What would he do for money? 

Billing: His father-in-law. 


Hovstad: Kill? Since when has he got money? 

Billing: I think he’s loaded with it. 

Hovstad: NoI Why, as long as I’ve known him he’s worn the 
same overcoat, the same suit— 

Billing: Yeah, and the same ring on his right hand. You ever 
get a look at that boulder? He points to his finger. 


Hovstad: No, I never— 

Billing: All year he wears the diamond inside, but on New 
Year’s Eve he turns it around. Figure it out— when a man has 
no visible means of support, what is he living on? Money, 
right? 

Petra enters, carrying a book. 

Petra: Hello. 

Hovstad: Well, fancy seeing you here. Sit down. What— 


68 


Act Two 


Petra, walking slowly up to Hovstad: I want to ask you a 
question. She starts to open the book. 

Billing: What’s that? 

Petra: The English novel you wanted translated. 

Hovstad: Aren’t you going to do it? 

Petra, with deadly seriousness and curiosity: I don’t get this. 
Hovstad: You don’t get what? 

' Petra: This book is absolutely against everything you people 
believe. 

Hovstad: Oh, it isn’t that bad. 

I Petra: But, Mr. Hovstad, it says if you’re good there’s a su- 
f pematural force that’ll fix it so you end up happy. And if 
I you’re bad you’ll be punished. Since when does the world 
I work that way? 

I Hovstad: Yes, Petra, but this is a newspaper, people like to 
i read that kind of thing. They buy the paper for that and 
' then we slip in our political stuff. A newspaper can’t buck the 
I public— 

I Petra, astonished, beginning to be angry: You don’t say! She 
\ starts to go. 

I Hovstad, hurrying after her: Now, wait a minute, I don’t 
want you to go feeling that way. He holds the manuscript out 
|] to Billing. Here, take this to the printer, will you? 

Billing, taking the manuscript: Sure. He goes. 

'• Hovstad: I just want you to understand something: I never 
even read that book. It was Billing’s idea. 

i 


69 


An Enemy of the People 


Petra, trying to penetrate his eyes: I thought he was a radical 
Hovstad: He is. But he’s also a— 

Petra, testily: A newspaperman. 

Hovstad: Well, that too, but I was going to say that Billing 
is trying to get the job as secretary to the Magistrate. 

Petra: What? 

Hovstad: People are— people. Miss Stockmann. 

Petra: But the Magistrate! He’s been fighting everything 
progressive in this town for thirty years. 

Hovstad: Let’s not argue about it, I just didn’t want you to 
go out of here with a wrong idea of me. I guess you know that 
I— I happen to admire women like you. I’ve never had a 
chance to tell you, but I— well, I want you to know it. Do 
you mind? He smiles. 

Petra: No, I don’t mind, but— reading that book upset me. I 
really don’t understand. Will you tell me why you’re support- 
ing my father? 

Hovstad: What’s the mystery? It’s a matter of principle. 

Petra: But a paper that’ll print a book like this has no 
principle. 

Hovstad: Why do you jump to such extremes? You’re just 
like . . . 

Petra: Like what? 

Hovstad: I simply mean that . . . 

Petra, moving away pom him: Like my father, you mean. 
You really have no use for him, do you? 


70 


Act Two 


Hovstad: Now wait a minutel 

Petra: What’s behind this? Are you just trying to hold my 
hand or something? 

Hovstad: I happen to agree with your father, and that’s why 
|[’m printing his stuff. 

Petra: You’re trying to put something over, I think. Why are 
you in this? 

Hovstad: Who’re you accusing? Billing gave you that book, 
not mel 

Petra: But you don’t mind printing it, do you? What are you 
trying to do with my father? You have no principles— what 
lare you up to here? 

'i^Aslaksen hurriedly enters from the printing shop, Stockmann’s 
manuscript in his hand. 

Aslaksen: My GodI Hovstad! He sees Petra. Miss Stockmann. 

Petra, looking at Hovstad: I don’t think I’ve been so fright- 
jened in my life. She goes out. 

j Hovstad, starting after her: Please, you mustn’t think I— 

|Aslaksen, stopping him: Where are you going? The Mayor’s 
out there. 

Hovstad: The Mayor! 

Aslaksen: He wants to speak to you. He came in the back 
' door. He doesn’t want to be seen. 

Hovstad: What does he want? He goes to the printing-room 
door, opens it, calls out with a certain edge of servility: Come 
in. Your Honor! 


7 


Act Two 


Peter Stockmann, entering: Thank you. ” 

Hovstad carefully closes the door. 

Peter Stockmann, walking around: It’s cleanl I always imag- 
ined this place would look dirty. But it’s clean. Commend- 
ingly: Very nice, Mr. Aslaksen. He puts his hat on the desk. 

Aslaksen; Not at all. Your Honor— I mean to say, I always . . . 

Hovstad: What can I do for you. Your Honor? Sit down? 

Peter Stockmann, sits, placing his cane on the table: I had a 
very annoying thing happen today, Mr. Hovstad. 

Hovstad: That so? 

Peter Stockmann: It seems my brother has written some sort 
of— memorandum. About the springs. 

Hovstad: You don’t say. 

Peter Stockmann, looking at Hovstad now: He mentioned 
it ... to you? 

Hovstad: Yes. I think he said something about it. 

Aslaksen, nervously starts to go out, attempting to hide the 
manuscript: Will you excuse me, gentlemen . . . 

Peter Stockmann, pointing to the manuscript: That’s it, isn’t 
it? 

Aslaksen: This? I don’t know, I haven’t had a chance to look 
at it, the printer just handed it to me . . . 

Hovstad: Isn’t that the thing the printer wanted the spelling 
checked? 

Aslaksen: That’s it. it’s only a question of spelling. I’ll be 
right back. 


72 


Act Two 


Peter Stockmann: I’m very good at spelling. He holds out 
his hand. Maybe I can help you. 

Hovstad: No, Your Honor, there’s some Latin in it. You 
wouldn’t know Latin, would you? 

Peter Stockmann: Oh, yes. I used to help my brother with 
his Latin all the time. Let me have it. 

^'Aslaksen gives him the manuscript. Peter Stockmann looks at 
fhe title on the first page, then glances up sarcastically at 
Hovstad, who avoids his eyes. 

IPeter Stockmann: You’re going to print this? 

,|Hovstad: I can’t very well refuse a signed article. A signed 
•^article is the author’s responsibility. 

I Peter Stockmann: Mr. Aslaksen, you’re going to allow this? 

Aslaksen: I’m the publisher, not the editor. Your Honor. My 
policy is freedom for the editor. 

I Peter Stockmann: You have a point— I can see that. 

j Aslaksen, reaching for the manuscript: So if you don’t 
mind . . . 

I Peter Stockmann: Not at all. But he holds on to the manu- 
script. After a pause: This reconstruction of the springs— 

Aslaksen: I realize. Your Honor— it does mean tremendous 
^ sacrifices for the stockholders. 

Peter Stockmann: Don’t upset yourself. The first thing a 
Mayor learns is that the less wealthy can always be prevailed 
upon to demand a spirit of sacrifice for the public good. 

Aslaksen: I’m glad you see that. 


73 


An Enemy of the People 


Peter Stockmann: Oh, yes. Especially when it’s the wealthy 
who are going to do the sacrificing. What you don’t seem to 
understand, Mr. Aslaksen, is that so long as I am Mayor, any 
changes in those springs are going to be paid for by a mu- 
nicipal loan. 

Aslaksen: A municipal— you mean you’re going to tax the 
people for this? 

Peter Stockmann: Exactly. 

Hovstad: But the springs are a private corporation! 

Peter Stockmann: The corporation built Kirsten Springs out 
of its own money. If the people want them changed, the peo- 
ple naturally must pay the bill. The corporation is in no po- 
sition to put out any more money. It simply can’t do it. 

Aslaksen, to Hovstad: That’s impossible! People will never 
stand for a new tax. To the Mayor: Is this a fact or your 
opinion? 

Peter Stockmann: It happens to be a fact. Plus another fact 
—you’ll forgive me for talking about facts in a newspaper of- 
fice— but don’t forget that the springs will take two years to 
make over. Two years without income for your small busi- 
nessmen, Mr. Aslaksen, and a heavy new tax besides. And all 
because— /iii private emotion comes to the surface; he throt- 
tles the manuscript in his /land- because of this dream, this 
hallucination, that we live in a pesthole! 

Hovstad: That’s based on science. 

Peter Stockmann, raising the manuscript and throwing it 
down on the table: This is based on vindictiveness, on his 
hatred of authority and nothing else. He pounds on the 
manuscript. This is the mad dream of a man who is trying to 


74 


Act Two 




blow up our way of lifel It has nothing to do with reform or 
science or anything else, but pure and simple destruction! 
And I intend to see to it that the people understand it 
lexactly so! 

Aslaksen, hit by this: My God! To Hovstad: Maybe . . . You 
[Sure you want to support this thing, Hovstad? 

Hovstad, nervously: Frankly I’d never thought of it in quite 
that way. I mean ... To the Mayor: When you think of it 
psychologically it’s completely possible, of course, that the 
.man is simply out to— I don’t know what to say, Your Honor. 
||I’d hate to hurt the town in any way. I never imagined we’d 
j|have to have a new tax. 

IPeter Stockmann: You should have imagined it because 
you’re going to have to advocate it. Unless, of course, liberal 
and radical newspaper readers enjoy high taxes. But you’d 
know that better than I. I happen to have here a brief 
story of the actual facts. It proves that, with a little care, no- 
body need be harmed at all by the water. He takes out a long 
envelope. Of course, in time we’d have to make a few minor 
structural changes and we’d pay for those. 

I Hovstad: May I see that? 

I Peter Stockmann: I want you to study it, Mr. Hovstad, and 
see if you don’t agree that— 

Bilong, entering quickly: Are you expecting the Doctor? 
Peter Stockmann, alarmed: He’s here? 

I 

j| Billing: Just coming across the street. 

I Peter Stockmann: I’d rather not run into him here. How 
i can I . . . 


75 


An Enemy of the People 


Billing: Right this way, sir, hurry up! 

Aslaksen, at the entrance door, peeking: Hurry up! 

Peter Stockmann, going with Billing through the door at the 
left: Get him out of here right away! They exit. 

Hovstad: Do something, do something! 

Aslaksen pokes among some papers on the table. Hovstad sits 
at the desk, starts to “write.” Dr. Stockmann enters. 

Dr. Stockmann: Any proofs yet? He sees they hardly turn to 
him. I guess not, eh? 

Aslaksen, without turning: No, you can’t expect them for 
some time. 

Dr. Stockmann: You mind if I wait? 

Hovstad: No sense in that. Doctor, it’ll be quite a while yet. 

Dr. Stockmann, laughing, places his hand on Hovstad’s back: 
Bear with me, Hovstad, I just can’t wait to see it in print. 

Hovstad: We’re pretty busy. Doctor, so . . . 

Dr. Stockmann, starting toward the door: Don’t let me hold 
you up. That’s the way to be, busy, busy. We’ll make this 
town shine like a jewel! He has opened the door, now he 
comes back. Just one thing. I— 

Hovstad: Couldn’t we talk some other time? We’re very— 

Dr. Stockmann: Two words. Just walking down the street 
now, I looked at the people, in the stores, driving the wagons, 
and suddenly I was— well, touched, you know? By their inno- 
cence, I mean. What I’m driving at is, when this expose 
breaks they’re liable to start making a saint out of me or 


76 


Act Two 


something, and I— Aslaksen, I want you to promise me that 
you’re not going to try to get up any dinner for me or— 

Aslaksen, turning toward the Doctor: Doctor, there’s no use 
concealing— 

Dr. Stockmann: I knew it. Now look, I will simply not at- 
tend a dinner in my honor. 

Hovstad, getting up: Doctor, I think it’s time we— 

Mrs. Stockmann enters. 

Mrs. Stockmann: I thought so. Thomas, I want you home. 
Now come. I want you to talk to Petra. 

Dr. Stockmann: What happened? What are you doing here? 
Hovstad: Something wrong, Mrs. Stockmann? 

Mrs. Stockmann, leveling a look of accusation at Hovstad: 
Doctor Stockmann is the father of three children, Mr. Hovstad. 

Dr. Stockmann: Now look, dear, everybody knows that. 
What’s the— 

Mrs. Stockmann, restraining an outburst at her husband: No- 
body would believe it from the way you’re dragging us into 
this disaster! 

Dr. Stockmann: What disaster? 

Mrs. Stockmann, to Hovstad: He treated you like a son, now 
you make a fool of him? 

Hovstad: Vm not making a— 

Dr. Stockmann: Catherine! He indicates Hovstad. How can 
you accuse— 

Mrs. Stockmann, to Hovstad: He’ll lose his job at the springs. 


77 


An Enemy of the People 


do you realize that? You print the article, and they'll grind 
him up like a piece of fleshl 

Dr. Stockmann: Catherine, you’re embarrassing me! I beg 
your pardon, gentlemen . . . 

Mrs. Stockmann: Mr. Hovstad, what are you up to? 

Dr. Stockmann: I won’t have you jumping at Hovstad, Cath- 
erine! 

Mrs. Stockmann: I want you home! This man is not your 
friend! 

Dr. Stockmann: He is my friend! Any man who shares my 
risk is my friend! You simply don’t understand that as soon as 
this breaks everybody in this town is going to come out in 
the streets and drive that gang of— He picks up the Mayor's 
cane from the table^ notices what it is, and stops. He looks 
from it to Hovstad and Aslaksen. What’s this? They don't re- 
ply. Now he notices the hat on the desk and picks it up with 
the tip of the cane. He looks at them again. He is angry, in- 
credulous. What the hell is he doing here? 

Aslaksen: All right. Doctor, now let’s be calm and— 

Dr. Stockmann, starting to move: Where is he? What’d he do, 
talk you out of it? Hovstad! Hovstad remains immobile. He 
won’t get away with it! Where’d you hide him? He opens the 
door at the left. 

Aslaksen: Be careful, Doctor! 

Peter Stockmann enters with Billing through the door Dr. 
Stockmann opened. Peter Stockmann tries to hide his embar- 
rassment. 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, Peter, poisoning the water was not 


78 


Act Two 


enoughi You’re working on the press now, eh? He crosses to 
the entrance door. 

Peter Stockmann: My hat, please. And my stick. Dr. Stock- 
mann puts on the Mayor's hat. Now what’s this nonsensel 
Take that off, that’s official insignial 

Dr. Stockmann: I just wanted you to realize, Peter— he takes 
off the hat and looks at tf— that anyone may wear this hat in 
a democracy, and that a free citizen is not afraid to touch it. 
He hands him the hat. And as for the baton of command. 
Your Honor, it can pass from hand to hand. He hands the 
cane to Peter Stockmann. So don’t gloat yet. The people 
haven’t spoken. He turns to Hovstad and Aslaksen. And I 
have the people because I have the truth, my friendsl 

Aslaksen: Doctor, we’re not scientists. We can’t judge 
whether your article is really true. 

Dr. Stockmann: Then print it under my name. Let me de- 
fend it! 

Hovstad: I’m not printing it. I’m not going to sacrifice this 
newspaper. When the whole story gets out the public is not 
going to stand for any changes in the springs. 

Aslaksen: His Honor just told us. Doctor— you see, there will 
have to be a new tax— 

Dr. Stockmann: Ahhhhh! Yes. I see. That’s why you’re not 
scientists suddenly and can’t decide if I’m telling the truth. 
Well. So! 

Hovstad: Don’t take that attitude. The point is— 

Dr. Stockmann: The point, the point, oh, the point is going 
to fly through this town like an arrow, and I am going to fire 


79 


An Enemy of the People 


itl To Aslaksen: Will you print this article as a pamphlet? 
I'll pay for it. 

Aslaksen: I’m not going to ruin this paper and this town. 
Doctor, for the sake of your family— 

Mrs. Stockmann: You can leave his family out of this, Mr. 
Aslaksen. God help me, I think you people are horrible! 

Dr. Stockmann: My article, if you don’t mind. 

Aslaksen, giving it to him: Doctor, you won’t get it printed 
in this town. 

Peter Stockmann: Can’t you forget it? He indicates Hovstad 
and Aslaksen. Can’t you see now that everybody— 

Dr. Stockmann: Your Honor, I can’t forget it, and you will 
never forget it as long as you live. I am going to call a mass 
meeting, and I— 

Peter Stockmann: And who is going to rent you a hall? 

Dr. Stockmann: Then I will take a drum and go from street 
to street, proclaiming that the springs are befouled and poison 
is rotting the body politic! He starts for the door. 

Peter Stockmann: And I believe you really are that mad! 

Dr. Stockmann: Mad? Oh, my brother, you haven’t even 
heard me raise my voice yet. Catherine? He holds out his 
hand, she gives him her elbow. They go stiffly out. 

Peter Stockmann looks regretfully toward the exit, then takes 
out his manuscript and hands it to Hovstad, who in turn gives 
it to Billing, who hands it to Aslaksen, who takes it and exits. 
Peter Stockmann puts his hat on and moves toward the door. 
Blackout. 

The Curtain Falls. 


So 




A room in Captain Horsier’ s house. The room is bare, as 
though unused for a long time. A large doorway is at the left, 
two shuttered windows at the back, and another door at the 
right. Upstage right, packing cases have been set together, 
forming a platform, on which are a chair and a small table. 
There are two chairs next to the platform at the right. One 
chair stands downstage left. 

The room is angled, thus making possible the illusion of a 
large crowd off in the wing to the left. The platform faces the 
audience at an angle, thus giving the speakers the chance to 
speak straight out front and creating the illusion of a large 
crowd by addressing “people” in the audience. 

As the curtain rises the room is empty. Captain Horster 
enters, carrying a pitcher of water, a glass, and a bell. He is 
putting these on the table when Billing enters. A crowd is 
heard talking outside in the street. 

Bilung: Captain Horster? 

Horster, turning: Oh, come in. I don’t have enough chairs 
for a lot of people so I decided not to have chairs at all. 

Billing: My name is Billing. Don’t you remember, at the 
Doctor’s house? 

Horster, a little coldly: Oh, yes, sure. I’ve been so busy I 


8 


An Enemy of the People 


didn’t recognize you. He goes to a window and looks out. 
Why don’t those people come inside? 

Billing: I don’t know, I guess they’re waiting for the Mayor 
or somebody important so they can be sure it’s respectable in 
here, 1 wanted to ask you a question before it begins. Cap- 
tain. Why are you lending your house for this? I never heard 
of you connected with anything political. 

Horster, standing still: I’ll answer that. I travel most of the 
year and— did you ever travel? 

Billing: Not abroad, no. 

Horster: Well, I’ve been in a lot of places where people 
aren’t allowed to say unpopular things. Did you know that? 

Billing: Sure, I’ve read about it. 

Horster, simply: Well, I don’t like it. He starts to go out. 

Billing: One more question. What’s your opinion about the 
Doctor’s proposition to rebuild the springs? 

Horster, turning, thinks, then: Don’t understand a thing 
about it. 

Three citizens enter. 

Horster: Come in, come in. I. don’t have enough chairs so 
you’ll just have to stand. He goes out. 

First Citizen: Try the horn. 

Second Citizen: No, let him start to talk first. 

Third Citizen, a big beef of a man, takes out a horn: Wait’ll 
they hear thisl I could blow your mustache off with thisl 

Horster returns. He sees the horn and stops abruptly. 


82 


Act Two 




Horster: I don’t want any roughhouse, you hear me? 

Mrs. Stockmann and Petra enter. 

Horster: Come in. I’ve got chairs just for you. 

Mrs. Stockmann, nervously: There’s quite a crowd on the 
I sidewalk. Why don’t they come in? 

Horster: I suppose they’re waiting for the Mayor. 

Petra; Are all those people on his side? 

Horster: Who knows? People are bashful, and it’s so unusual 
to come to a meeting like this, I suppose they— 

Billing, going over to this group: Good evening, ladies. They 
simply look at him. I don’t blame you for not speaking. I 
just wanted to say I don’t think this is going to be a place 
for ladies tonight. 

Mrs. Stockmann; I don’t remember asking your advice, Mr. 
Billing. 

Billing; I’m not as bad as you think, Mrs. Stockmann. 

Mrs. Stockmann; Then why did you print the Mayor’s state- 
ment and not a word about my husband’s report? Nobody’s 
had a chance to find out what he really stands for. Why, 
everybody on the street there is against him already! 

Billing; If we printed his report it only would have hurt 
your husband. 

Mrs. Stockmann; Mr. Billing, I’ve never said this to anyone 
in my life, but I think you’re a liar. 

Suddenly the third citizen lets out a blast on his horn. The 
women jump. Billing and Horster turn around quickly. 




An Enemy of the People 


Horster: You do that once more and I’ll throw you out of 
herel 

Peter Stockmann enters. Behind him comes the crowd. He 
pretends to be unconnected with them. He goes straight to 
Mrs. Stockmann, bows. 

Peter Stockmann: Catherine? Petra? 

Petra: Good evening. 

Peter Stockmann: Why so coldly? He wanted a meeting and 
he’s got it. T o Horster: Isn’t he here? 

Horster: The Doctor is going around town to be sure there’s 
a good attendance. 

Peter Stockmann: Fair enough. By the way, Petra, did you 
paint that poster? The one somebody stuck on the Town 
Hall? 

Petra: If you can call it painting, yes. 

Peter Stockmann: You know I could arrest you? It’s against 
the law to deface the Town Hall. 

Petra: Well, here I am. She holds out her hands for the hand- 
cuffs. 

Mrs. Stockmann, taking it seriously: If you arrest her, Peter, 
I’ll never speak to you I 

Peter Stockmann, laughing: Catherine, you have no sense of 
humor 1 

He crosses and sits down at the left. They sit right. A drunk 
comes out of the crowd. 

Drunk: Say, Billy, who’s runnin’? Who’s the candidate? 


84 


Act Two 


[ Horster: You’re drunk, Mister, now get out of here! 

! Drunk: There’s no law says a man who’s drunk can’t vote! 

^ Horster, pushing the drunk toward the door as the crowd 
I laughs: Get out of here! Get out! 

Drunk: I wanna vote! I got a right to vote! 

Aslaksen enters hurriedly, sees Peter Stockmann, and rushes 
to him. 

I Aslaksen: Your Honor . . . He points to the door. He’s . . . 

Dr. Stockmann, offstage: Right this way, gentlemen! In you 
I go, come on, fellows! 

Hovstad enters, glances at Peter Stockmann and Aslaksen, 
then at Dr. Stockmann and another crowd behind him, who 
I enter. 

Dr. Stockmann: Sorry, no chairs, gentlemen, but we couldn’t 
get a hall, y’know, so just relax. It won’t take long anyway. 
He goes to the platform, sees Peter Stockmann. Glad you’re 
here, Peter! 

Peter Stockmann: Wouldn’t miss it for the world. 

Dr. Stockmann: How do you feel, Catherine? 

1 Mrs. Stockmann, nervously: Just promise me, don’t lose your 
! temper . , . 

.Horster, seeing the drunk pop in through the door: Did I 
tell you to get out of here! 

Drunk: Look, if you ain’t votin’, what the hell’s going on 
I here? Horster starts after him. Don’t push! 

1 Peter Stockmann, to the drunk: I order you to get out of 
here and stay out! 


85 


An Enemy of the People 


Drunk: I don’t like the tone of your voicel And if you don’t 
watch your step I’m gonna tell the Mayor right now, and he’ll 
throw yiz all in the jugl To all: What’re you, a revolution 
here? 

The crowd bursts out laughing; the drunk laughs with them, 
and they push him out. Dr. Stockmann mounts the platform. 

Dr. Stockmann, quieting the crowd: All right, gentlemen, we 
might as well begin. Quiet down, please. He clears his throat. 
The issue is very simple— 

Aslaksen: We haven’t elected a chairman. Doctor. 

Dr. Stockmann: I’m sorry, Mr. Aslaksen, this isn’t a meeting. 
I advertised a lecture and I— 

A Citizen: I came to a meeting. Doctor. There’s got to be 
some kind of control here. 

Dr. Stockmann: What do you mean, control? What is there 
to control? 

Second Citizen: Sure, let him speak, this is no meeting! 

Third Citizen: Your Honor, why don’t you take charge of 
this— 

Dr. Stockmann: Just a minute now! 

Third Citizen: Somebody responsible has got to take charge. 
There’s a big difference of opinion here— 

Dr. Stockmann: What makes you so sure? You don’t even 
know yet what I’m going to say. 

Third Citizen: I’ve got a pretty good idea what you’re going 
to say, and I don’t like it! If a man doesn’t like it here, let 
him go where it suits him better. We don’t want any trouble- 
makers here! 


86 


Act Two 


There is assent from much of the crowd. Dr. Stockmann looks 
at them with new surprise. 

Dr. Stockmann: Now look, friend, you don’t know anything 
about me— 

Fourth Citizen: We know plenty about you, Stockmann! 

Dr. Stockmann: From what? From the newspapers? How do 
you know I don’t like this town? He picks up his manuscript. 
I'm here to save the life of this town! 

Peter Stockmann, quickly: Now just a minute. Doctor, I 
think the democratic thing to do is to elect a chairman. 

Fifth Citizen: I nominate the Mayor! 

Seconds are heard. 

Peter Stockmann: No, no, no! That wouldn’t be fair. We 
want a neutral person. I suggest Mr. Aslaksen— 

Second Citizen: I came to a lecture, I didn’t— 

Third Citizen, to second citizen: What’re you afraid of, a fair 
fight? To the Mayor: Second Mr. Aslaksen! 

The crowd assents. 

Dr. Stockmann: All right, if that’s your pleasure. I just want 
to remind you that the reason I called this meeting was that 
I have a very important message for you people and I couldn’t 
get it into the press, and nobody would rent me a hall. To 
Peter Stockmann: I just hope I’ll be given time to speak here. 
Mr. Aslaksen? 

As Aslaksen mounts the platform and Dr. Stockmann steps 
down, Kiil enters, looks shrewdly around. 

Aslaksen: I just have one word before we start. Whatever is 


87 


An Enemy of the People 


said tonight, please remember, the highest civic virtue is 
moderation. He can’t help turning to Dr. Stockmann, then 
back to the crowd. Now if anybody wants to speak— 

The drunk enters suddenly. 

Drunk, pointing at Aslaksen: I heard that! Since when you 
allowed to electioneer at the poles? Citizens push him toward 
the door amid laughter. I’m gonna report this to the Mayor, 
goddammit! They push him out and close the door. 

Aslaksen: Quiet, please, quiet. Does anybody want the floor? 

Dr. Stockmann starts to come forward, raising his hand, hut 
Peter Stockmann also has his hand raised. 

Peter Stockmann: Mr. Chairman! 

Aslaksen, quickly recognizing Peter Stockmann: His Honor 
the Mayor will address the meeting. 

Dr. Stockmann stops, looks at Peter Stockmann, and, sup- 
pressing a remark, returns to his place. The Mayor mounts 
the platform. 

Peter Stockmann: Gentlemen, there’s no reason to take very 
long to settle this tonight and return to our ordinary, calm, 
and peaceful life. Here’s the issue: Doctor Stockmann, my 
brother— and believe me, it is not easy to say this— has decided 
to destroy Kirsten Springs, our Health Institute- 

Da. Stockmann: Peter! 

Aslaksen, ringing his bell: Let the Mayor continue, please. 
There mustn’t be any interruptions. 

Peter Stockmann: He has a long and very involved way of 
going about it, but that’s the brunt of it, believe me. 


88 


Act Two 


Third Citizen: Then what’re we wasting time for? Run him 
out of townl 

Others join in the cry. 

Peter Stockmann: Now wait a minute. I want no violence 
here. I want you to understand his motives. He is a man, 
always has been, who is never happy unless he is badgering 
authority, ridiculing authority, destroying authority. He wants 
to attack the springs so he can prove that the administration 
blundered in the construction. 

Dr. Stockmann, to Aslaksen: May I speak? I— 

Aslaksen: The Mayor’s not finished. 

Peter Stockmann: Thank you. Now there are a number of 
people here who seem to feel that the Doctor has a right to 
say anything he pleases. After all, we are a democratic country. 
Now. God knows, in ordinary times I’d agree a hundred per 
cent with anybody’s right to say anything. But these are not 
ordinary times. Nations have crises, and so do towns. There 
are ruins of nations, and there are ruins of towns all over 
the world, and they were wrecked by people who, in the guise 
of reform, and pleading for justice, and so on, broke down all 
authority and left only revolution and chaos. 

Dr. Stockmann: What the hell are you talking about! 

Aslaksen: I’ll have to insist, Doctor- 

Da. Stockmann: I called a lecture! I didn’t invite him to at- 
tack me. He’s got the press and every hall in town to attack 
me, and I’ve got nothing but this room tonight! 

Aslaksen: I don’t think you’re making a very good impres- 
sion, Doctor. 


89 


An Enemy of the People 


Assenting laughter and catcalls. Again Dr. Stockmann is taken 
aback by this reaction. 

Aslaksen: Please continue. Your Honor. 

Peter Stockmann: Now this is our crisis. We know what this 
town was without our Institute. We could barely afford to 
keep the streets in condition. It was a dead, third-rate hamlet. 
Today we’re just on the verge of becoming internationally 
known as a resort. I predict that within five years the income 
of every man in this room will be immensely greater. I pre- 
dict that our schools will be bigger and better. And in time 
this town will be crowded with fine carriages; great homes 
will be built here; first-class stores will open all along Main 
Street. I predict that if we are not defamed and maliciously 
attacked we will someday be one of the richest and most beau- 
tiful resort towns in the world. There are your choices. Now 
all you’ve got to do is ask yourselves a simple question: Has 
any one of us the right, the “derr ocratic right,” as they like 
to call it, to pick at minor flaws in the springs, to exaggerate 
the most picayune faults? Cries of No, No! And to attempt 
to publish these defamations for the whole world to see? We 
live or die on what the outside world thinks of us. I believe 
there is a line that must be drawn, and if a man decides to 
cross that line, we the people must finally take him by the 
collar and declare, “You cannot say thatl” 

There is an uproar of assent. Aslaksen rings the bell. 

Peter Stockmann, continuing: All right then. I think we all 
understand each other. Mr. Aslaksen, I move that Doctor 
Stockmann be prohibited from reading his report at this 
meeting! He goes back to his chair, which meanwhile Kiil has 
occupied. 


90 


Act Two 


Aslaksen rings the bell to quiet the enthusiasm. Dr. Stock- 
mann is jumping to get up on the platform, the report in his 
hand. 

Aslaksen; Quiet, please. Please now. I think we can proceed 
to the vote. 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, aren’t you going to let me speak at all? 
Aslaksen: Doctor, we are just about to vote on that question. 
Dr. Stockmann: But damn it, man, I’ve got a right to— 
Petra, standing up: Point of order. Father! 

Dr. Stockmann, picking up the cue: Yes, point of order! 
Aslaksen, turning to him now: Yes, Doctor. 

Dr. Stockmann, at a loss, turns to Petra for further instruc- 
tions. 

Petra; You want to discuss the motion. 

Dr. Stockmann: That’s right, damn it, I want to discuss the 
motion! 

Aslaksen: Ah . . . He glances at Peter Stockmann. All right, 
go ahead. 

Dr. Stockmann, to the crowd: Now, listen. He points at Peter 
Stockmann. He talks and he talks and he talks, but not a word 
about the facts! He holds up the manuscript. 

Third Citizen: We don’t want to hear any more about the 
water! 

Fourth Citizen; You’re just trying to blow up everything! 
Dr. Stockmann: Well, judge for yourselves, let me read— 


9 


An Enemy of the People 


Cries of No, No, No! The man with the horn blows it. Aslak- 
sen rings the bell. Dr. Stockmann is utterly shaken. Aston- 
ished, he looks at the maddened faces. He lowers the hand 
holding the manuscript and steps back, defeated. 

Aslaksen: Please, please now, quiet. We can’t have this up- 
roar! Quiet returns. I think. Doctor, that the majority wants 
to take the vote before you start to speak. If they so will, you 
can speak. Otherwise, majority rules. You won’t deny that. 

Dr. Stockmann, turns, tosses the manuscript on the floor, 
turns back to Aslaksen: Don’t bother voting. I understand 
everything now. Can I have a few minutes— 

Peter Stockmann; Mr. Chairman! 

Dr. Stockmann, to his brother: I won’t mention the Institute. 
I have a new discovery that’s a thousand times more important 
than all the Institutes in the world. To Aslaksen: May I have 
the platform. 

Aslaksen, to the crowd: I don’t see how we can deny him 
that, as long as he confines himself to— 

Dr. Stockmann: The springs are not the subject. He mounts 
the platform, looks at the crowd. Before I go into my subject 
I want to congratulate the liberals and radicals among us, 
like Mr. Hovstad— 

Hovstad: What do you mean, radical! Where’s your evidence 
to call me a radical! 

Dr. Stockmann: You’ve got me there. There isn’t any evi- 
dence. I guess there never really was. I just wanted to con- 
gratulate you on your self-control tonight— you who have 
fought in every parlor for the principle of free speech these 
many years. 


92 


Act Two 


Hovstad: I believe in democracy. When my readers are over- 
whelmingly against something, I’m not going to impose my 
will on the majority. 

Dr. Stockmann; You have begun my remarks, Mr. Hovstad. 
He turns to the crowd. Gentlemen, Mrs. Stockmann, Miss 
Stockmann. Tonight I was struck by a sudden flash of light, 
a discovery second to none. But before I tell it to you— a little 
story. I put in a good many years in the north of our country. 
Up there the rulers of the world are the great seal and the 
gigantic squadrons of duck. Man lives on ice, huddled to- 
gether in little piles of stones. His whole life consists of 
grubbing for food. Nothing more. He can barely speak his 
own language. And it came to me one day that it was roman- 
tic and sentimental for a man of my education to be tending 
these people. They had not yet reached the stage where they 
needed a doctor. If the truth were to be told, a veterinary 
would be more in order. 

Billing: Is that the way you refer to decent hard-working 
peoplel 

Dr. Stockmann: I expected that, my friend, but don’t think 
you can fog up my brain with that magic word— the People! 
Not any more! Just because there is a mass of organisms with 
the human shape, they do not automatically become a People. 
That honor has to be earned! Nor does one automatically 
become a Man by having human shape, and living in a house, 
and feeding one’s face— and agreeing with one’s neighbors. 
That name also has to be earned. Now, when I came to my 
conclusions about the springs— 

Peter Stockmann: You have no right to— 

Dr. Stockmann: That’s a picayune thing, to catch me on a 
word, Peter. I am not going into the springs. To the crowd: 


93 


An Enemy of the People 


When I became convinced of my theory about the water, the 
authorities moved in at once, and I said to myself, I will fight 
them to the death, because— 

Thhu) Citizen; What’re you trying to do, make a revolution 
here? He’s a revolutionist! 

Dr. Stockmann: Let me finish. I thought to myself: The 
majority, I have the majority! And let me tell you, friends, 
it was a grand feeling. Because that’s the reason I came back 
to this place of my birth. I wanted to give my education to 
this town. I loved it so, I spent months without pay or en- 
couragement and dreamed up the whole project of the springs. 
And why? Not as my brother says, so that fine carriages could 
crowd our streets, but so that we might cure the sick, so that 
we might meet people from all over the world and learn from 
them, and become broader and more civilized. In other words, 
more like Men, more like A People. 

A Citizen: You don’t like anything about this town, do you? 

Another Citizen; Admit it, you’re a revolutionist, aren’t 
you? Admit it! 

Dr. Stockmann; I don’t admit it! I proclaim it now! I am a 
revolutionist! I am in revolt against the age-old lie that the 
majority is always right! 

Hovstad: He’s an aristocrat all of a sudden! 

Dr. Stockmann: And more! I tell you now that the majority is 
always wrong, and in this way! 

Peter Stockmann: Have you lost your mind! Stop talking 
before- 

DR. Stockmann: Was the majority right when they stood by 
while Jesus was crucified? Silence. Was the majority right 


94 


Act Two 


when they refused to believe that the earth moved around 
the sun and let Galileo be driven to his knees like a dog? It 
takes fifty years for the majority to be right. The majority 
is never right until it does right. 

Hovstad: I want to state right now, that although I’ve been 
this man’s friend, and I’ve eaten at his table many times, I 
now cut myself off from him absolutely. 

Dr. Stockmann; Answer me this! Please, one more momentl 
A platoon of soldiers is walking down a road toward the 
enemy. Every one of them is convinced he is on the right 
road, the safe road. But two miles ahead stands one lonely 
man, the outpost. He sees that this road is dangerous, that his 
comrades are walking into a trap. He runs back, he finds the 
platoon. Isn’t it clear that this man must have the right to 
warn the majority, to argue with the majority, to fight with 
the majority if he believes he has the truth? Before many can 
know something, one must know it! His passion has silenced 
the crowd. It’s always the same. Rights are sacred until it 
hurts for somebody to use them. I beg you now— I realize the 
cost is great, the inconvenience is great, the risk is great that 
other towns will get the jump on us while we’re rebuilding— 

Peter Stockmann: Aslaksen, he’s not allowed to— 

Dr. Stockmann: Let me prove it to you! The water is poi- 
soned! 

Third Citizen, steps up on the platform, waves his fist in Dr. 
Stockmann' s face: One more word about poison and I’m 
gonna take you outside! 

The crowd is roaring; some try to charge the platform. The 
horn is blowing. Aslaksen rings his bell. Peter Stockmann 
steps forward, raising his hands. Kiil quietly exits. 


95 


An Enemy of the People 


Peter Stockmann: That’s enough. Now stop it! Quiet! There 
is not going to be any violence here! There is silence. He turns 
to Dr. Stockmann. Doctor, come down and give Mr. Aslaksen 
the platform. 

Dr. Stockmann, staring down at the crowd with new eyes: 
I’m not through yet. 

Peter Stockmann: Come down or I will not be responsible 
for what happens. 

Mrs. Stockmann: I’d like to go home. Come on, Tom. 

Peter Stockmann: I move the chairman order the speaker to 
leave the platform. 

Voices: Sit down! Get off that platform! 

Dr. Stockmann: All right. Then I’ll take this to out-of-town 
newspapers until the whole country is warned! 

Peter Stockmann: You wouldn’t dare! 

Hovstad: You’re trying to ruin this town— that’s all; trying to 
ruin it. 

Dr. Stockmann: You’re trying to build a town on a morality 
so rotten that it will infect the country and the world! If the 
only way you can prosper is this murder of freedom and truth, 
then I say with all my heart, “Let it be destroyed! Let the 
people perish!’’ 

He leaves the platform. 

First Citizen, to the Mayor: Arrest him! Arrest him! 

Second Citizen: He’s a traitor! 

Cries of "Enemyl Traitor! Revolutionr 


96 


Act Two 


Aslaksen, ringing for quiet: 1 would like to submit the fol- 
lowing resolution: The people assembled here tonight, decent 
and patriotic citizens, in defense of their town and their 
country, declare that Doctor Stockmann, medical officer of 
Kirsten Springs, is an enemy of the people and of his com- 
munity. 

An uproar of assent starts. 

Mrs, Stockmann, getting up: That’s not truel He loves this 
town! 

Dr. Stockmann: You damned fools, you fools! 

The Doctor and his family are all standing together, at the 
right, in a close group. 

Aslaksen, shouting over the din: Is there anyone against this 
motion! Anyone against! 

Horster, raising his hand: I am. 

Aslaksen: One? He looks around. 

Drunk, who has returned, raising his hand: Me too! You 
can’t do without a doctor! Anybody’ll . . . tell you . . . 

Aslaksen: Anyone else? With all votes against two, this as- 
sembly formally declares Doctor Thomas Stockmann to be 
the people’s enemy. In the future, all dealings with him by 
decent, patriotic citizens will be on that basis. The meeting 
is adjourned. 

Shouts and applause. People start leaving. Dr. Stockmann 
goes over to Horster. 

Dr. Stockmann: Captain, do you have room for us on your 
ship to America? 


97 


Act Two 


Horster: Any time you say. Doctor. 

Dr. Stockmann: Catherine? Petra? 

The three start for the door, but a gantlet has formed, dan- 
gerous and silent, except for 

Third Citizen: You’d better get aboard soon, Doctorl 
Mrs. Stockmann: Let’s go out the back door. 

Horster: Right this way. 

Dr. Stockmann: No, no. No back doors. To the crowd: I 
don’t want to mislead anybody— the enemy of the people is 
not finished in this town— not quite yet. And if anybody 
thinks— 

The horn blasts, cutting him off. The crowd starts yelling 
hysterically: “Enemy! Traitor! Throw him in the river! Come 
on, throw him in the river! Enemy! Enemy! Enemy!" The 
Stockmanns, erect, move out through the crowd, with Horster. 
Some of the crowd follow them out, yelling. 

Downstage, watching, are Peter Stockmann, Billing, Aslaksen, 
and Hovstad. The stage is throbbing with the chant, “Enemy, 
Enemy, Enemy!" as 

The Curtain Falls. 


98 



( 

I 

I Dr. Stockmann's living room the following morning. The 
I windows are broken. There is great disorder. As the curtain 
I rises. Dr. Stockmann enters, a robe over shirt and trousers— 
1 iifs cold in the house. He picks up a stone from the floor, lays 
I it on the table. 

Dr. Stockmann: Catherine! Tell what’s-her-name there are 
still some rocks to pick up in here. 

T Mrs. Stockmann, from inside: She’s not finished sweeping up 
the glass. 

As Dr. Stockmann bends down to get at another stone under 
a chair a rock comes through one of the last remaining panes. 
He rushes to the window, looks out. Mrs. Stockmann rushes 
in. 

Mrs. Stockmann, frightened: You all right? 

Dr. Stockmann, looking out: A little boy. Look at him run! 
He picks up the stone. How fast the poison spreads— even to 
the children! 

Mrs. Stockmann, looking out the window: It’s hard to believe 
this is the same town. 

Dr. Stockmann, adding this rock to the pile on the table: 
I’m going to keep these like sacred relics. I’ll put them in my 


99 


An Enemy of the People 


will. I want the boys to have them in their homes to look at 
every day. He shudders. Cold in here. Why hasn’t what’s-her- 
name got the glazier here? 

Mrs. Stockmann: She’s getting him . . . 

Dr. Stockmann: She’s been getting him for two hoursl We’ll 
freeze to death in here. 

Mrs. Stockmann, unwillingly: He won’t come here, Tom. 

Dr. Stockmann, stops moving: Nol The glazier’s afraid to fix 
my windows? 

Mrs. Stockmann: You don’t realize— people don’t like to be 
pointed out. He’s got neighbors, I suppose, and— She hears 
something. Is that someone at the door, Randine? 

She goes to front door. He continues picking up stones. She 
comes back. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Letter for you. 

Dr. Stockmann, taking and opening it: What’s this now? 

Mrs. Stockmann, continuing his pick-up for him: I don’t 
know how we’re going to do any shopping with everybody 
ready to bite my head off and— 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, what do you know? We’re evicted. 
Mrs. Stockmann: Oh, nol 

Dr. Stockmann: He hates to do it, but with public opinion 
what it is . . . 

Mrs. Stockmann, frightened: Maybe we shouldn’t have let 
the boys go to school today. 


lOO 


Act Three 


i 

,1 

i 


f Dr. Stockmann: Now don't get all frazzled again. 

j Mrs. Stockmann: But the landlord is such a nice man. If he’s 
got to throw us out, the town must be ready to murder usi 

I Dr. Stockmann: Just calm down, will you? We’ll go to 
jl America, and the whole thing’ll be like a dream. 

Mrs. Stockmann: But I don’t want to go to America— She 
r notices his pants. When did this get torn? 

I Dr. Stockmann, examining the tear: Must’ve been last ni^t. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Your best pants 1 

I Dr. Stockmann: Well, it just shows you, that’s all— when a 
man goes out to fight for the truth he should never wear his 
! best pants. He calms her. Stop worrying, will you? You’ll sew 
them up, and in no time at all we’ll be three thousand miles 
away. 

Mrs. Stockmann: But how do you know it’ll be any different 
there? 

Dr. Stockmann: I don’t know. It just seems to me, in a big 
country like that, the spirit must be bigger. Still, I suppose 
they must have the solid majority there too. I don’t know, at 
least there must be more room to hide there. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Think about it more, will you? I’d hate 
to go half around the world and find out we’re in the same 
place. 

Dr. Stockmann: You know, Catherine, I don’t think I’m 
ever going to forget the face of that crowd last night. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Don’t think about it. 

Dr. Stockmann: Some of them had their teeth bared, like 


lOl 


An Enemy of the People 


animals in a pack. And who leads them? Men who call them- 
selves liberals! Radicals! She starts looking around at the 
furniture, figuring. The crowd lets out one roar, and where 
are they, my liberal friends? I bet if I walked down the street 
now not one of them would admit he ever met me! Are you 
listening to me? 

Mrs, Stockmann: I was just wondering what we’ll ever do 
with this furniture if we go to America, 

Dr. Stockmann: Don’t you ever listen when I talk, dear? 

Mrs. Stockmann: Why must I listen? I know you’re right. 

Petra enters. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Petra! Why aren’t you in school? 

Dr. Stockmann: What’s the matter? 

’etra, with deep emotion, looks at Dr. Stockmann, goes up 
md kisses him: I’m fired. 

Mrs. Stockmann: They wouldn’t! 

*etra: As of two weeks from now. But I couldn’t bear to stay 
here. 

Dr. Stockmann, shocked: Mrs. Busk fired you? 

Mrs. Stockmann: Who’d ever imagine she could do such a 
hing! 

Petra: It hurt her. I could see it, because we’ve always agreed 
io about things. But she didn’t dare do anything else. 

Dr. Stockmann: The glazier doesn’t dare fix the windows, the 
andlord doesn’t dare let us stay on— 

'etra: The landlord! 


02 


Act Three 


Dr. Stockmann: Evicted, darlingl Oh, God, on the wreckage 
of all the civilizations in the world there ought to be a big 
sign: "They Didn’t Darel” 

I Petra: I really can’t blame her. Father. She showed me three 

II letters she got this morning— 

II 

I; Dr. Stockmann: From whom? 

I Petra: They weren’t signed. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, naturally. The big patriots with their 
; anonymous indignation, scrawling out the darkness of their 
minds onto dirty little slips of paper— that’s morality, and I’m 
the traitor! What did the letters say? 

Petra: Well, one of them was from somebody who said that 
he’d heard at the club that somebody who visits this house 
said that I had radical opinions about certain things. 

I Dr. Stockmann: Oh, wonderful! Somebody heard that some- 
body heard that she heard, that he heard . . . ! Catherine, 
pack as soon as you can. I feel as though vermin were crawling 
all over me. 

Horsier enters. 

Horster: Good morning. 

Dr. Stockmann: Captain! You’re just the man I want to see. 
Horster: I thought I’d see how you all were. 

Mrs. Stockmann: That’s awfully nice of you. Captain, and 
I want to thank you for seeing us through the crowd last 
night. 

Petra: Did you get home all right? We hated to leave you 
alone with that mob. 


103 


An Enemy of the People 


Horster: Oh, nothing to it. In a storm there’s just one thing 
to remember: it will pass. 

Dr, Stockmann: Unless it kills you, 

Horster: You mustn’t let yourself get too bitter. 

Dr, Stockmann: I’m trying, I’m trying. But I don’t guarantee 
how I’ll feel when I try to walk down the street with “Trai- 
tor” branded on my forehead, 

Mrs, Stockmann: Don’t think about it, 

Horster: Ah, what’s a word? 

Dr, Stockmann: A word can be like a needle sticking in your 
heart. Captain, It can dig and corrode like an acid, until you 
become what they want you to be— really an enemy of the 
people, 

Horster: You mustn’t ever let that happen. Doctor, 

Dr, Stockmann: Frankly, I don’t give a damn any more. Let 
summer come, let an epidemic break out, then they’ll know 
whom they drove into exile. When are you sailing? 

Petra: You really decided to go. Father? 

Dr, Stockmann: Absolutely, When do you sail, Captain? 

Horster: That’s really what I came to talk to you about. 

Dr. Stockmann: Why? Something happen to the ship? 

Mrs, Stockmann, happily, to Dr. Stockmann: You seel We 
can’t go! 

Horster: No, the ship will sail. But I won’t be aboard. 

Dr. Stockmann: Nol 


104 


Act Three 


Petra: You fired too? ’Cause I was this morning. 

I Mrs. Stockmann: Oh, Captain, you shouldn’t have given us 
‘ your house. 

j Horster: Oh, I’ll get another ship. It’s just that the owner, 
I Mr. Vik, happens to belong to the same party as the Mayor, 
I and I suppose when you belong to a party, and the party 
; takes a certain position . . . Because Mr. Vik himself is a very 
decent man. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, they’re all decent menl 
j Horster: No, really, he’s not like the others. 

! Dr. Stockmann: He doesn’t have to be. A party is like a 
' sausage grinder: it mashes up clearheads, longheads, fatheads, 

■ blockheads— and what comes out? Meatheadsl 

There is a knock on the hall door. Petra goes to answer. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Maybe that’s the glazier! 

Dr. Stockmann: Imagine, Captain! He points to the window. 
Refused to come all morning! 

Peter Stockmann enters, his hat in his hand. Silence. 

Peter Stockmann: If you’re busy . . . 

Dr. Stockmann: Just picking up broken glass. Come in, 
Peter. What can I do for you this fine, brisk morning? He 
demonstratively pulls his robe tighter around his throat. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Come inside, won’t you. Captain? 

Horster: Yes, I’d like to finish our talk. Doctor. 

Dr. Stockmann: Be with you in a minute. Captain. 

Horster follows Petra and Catherine out through the dining- 


05 


An Enemy of the People 


room doorway. Peter Stockmann says nothing, looking at the 
damage. 

Dr. Stockmann: Keep your hat on if you like, it’s a little 
drafty in here today. 

Peter Stockmann; Thanks, I believe I will. He puts his hat 
on. I think I caught cold last night— that house was freezing. 

Dr. Stockmann: I thought it was kind of warm— suffocating, 
as a matter of fact. What do you want? 

Peter Stockmann; May I sit down? He indicates a chair near 
the window. 

Dr. Stockmann: Not there. A piece of the solid majority is 
liable to open your skull. Here. 

They sit on the couch. Peter Stockmann takes out a large 
envelope. 

Dr. Stockmann; Now don’t tell me. 

Peter Stockmann: Yes. He hands the Doctor the envelope. 
Dr. Stockmann: I’m fired. 

Peter Stockmann; The Board met this morning. There was 
nothing else to do, considering the state of public opinion. 

Dr. Stockmann, ajter a pause: You look scared, Peter. 

Peter Stockmann; I— I haven’t completely forgotten that 
you’re still my brother. 

Dr. Stockmann: I doubt that. 

Peter Stockmann: You have no practice left in this town, 
Thomas. 

Dr. Stockmann; Oh, people always need a doctor. 


106 


Act Three 


Peter Stockmann: A petition is going from house to house. 
Everybody is signing it. A pledge not to call you any more. I 
don’t think a single family will dare refuse to sign it. 

Dr. Stockmann: You started that, didn’t you? 

Peter Stockmann: No. As a matter of fact, I think it’s all 
I gone a little too far. I never wanted to see you ruined, Thomas. 
This will ruin you. 

Dr. Stockmann: No, it won’t. 

Peter Stockmann: For once in your life, will you act like a 
responsible man? 

Dr. Stockmann: Why don’t you say it, Peter? You’re afraid 
I’m going out of town to start publishing about the springs, 
aren’t you? 

Peter Stockmann: I don’t deny that. Thomas, if you really 
have the good of the town at heart, you can accomplish 
everything without damaging anybody, including yourself. 

Dr. Stockmann: What’s this now? 

Peter Stockmann: Let me have a signed statement saying 
that in your zeal to help the town you went overboard and ex- 
aggerated. Put it any way you like, just so you calm anybody 
who might feel nervous about the water. If you’ll give me 
that, you’ve got your job. And I give you my word, you can 
gradually make all the improvements you feel are necessary. 
Now, that gives you what you want . . . 

Dr. Stockmann: You’re nervous, Peter. 

Peter Stockmann, nervously: I am not nervousi 

Dr. Stockmann: You expect me to remain in charge while 
people are being poisoned? He gets up. 


An Enemy o£ the People 


Peter Stockmann: In time you can make your changes. 

Dr. Stockmann: When, five years, ten years? You know your 
trouble, Peter? You just don’t grasp— even now— that there are 
certain men you can’t buy. 

Peter Stockmann: I’m quite capable of understanding that. 
But you don’t happen to be one of those men. 

Dr. Stockmann, after a slight pause: What do you mean by 
that now? 

Peter Stockmann: You know damned well what I mean by 
that. Morten Kill is what I mean by that. 

Dr. Stockmann: Morten Kiil? 

Peter Stockmann: Your father-in-law, Morten Kiil. 

Dr. Stockmann: I swear, Peter, one of us is out of his mind! 
What are you talking about? 

Peter Stockmann: Now don’t try to charm me with that pro- 
fessional innocence! 

Dr. Stockmann: What are you talking about? 

Peter Stockmann: You don’t know that your father-in-law 
has been running around all morning buying up stock in 
Kirsten Springs? 

Dr. Stockmann, perplexed: Buying up stock? 

Peter Stockmann: Buying up stock, every share he can lay 
his hands on! 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, I don’t understand, Peter. What’s that 
got to do with— 

Peter Stockmann, walking around agitatedly: Oh, come now, 
come now, come now! 


108 


Act Three 


Dr. Stockmann: I hate you when you do thatl Don't just 
walk around gabbling “Come now, come nowl” What the hell 
are you talking about? 

Peter Stockmann: Very well, if you insist on being dense. A 
man wages a relentless campaign to destroy confidence in a 
corporation. He even goes so far as to call a mass meeting 
against it. The very next morning, when people are still in a 
state of shock about it all, his father-in-law runs all over town, 
picking up shares at half their value. 

Dr. Stockmann, realizing, turns away: My GodI 

Peter Stockmann: And you have the nerve to speak to me 
about principles! 

Dr. Stockmann: You mean you actually believe that I . . . ? 

Peter Stockmann: I’m not interested in psychology! I believe 
what I see! And what I see is nothing but a man doing a 
dirty, filthy job for Morten Kiil. And let me tell you— by to- 
night every man in this town’ll see the same thing! 

Dr. Stockmann: Peter, you, you . . . 

Peter Stockmann: Now go to your desk and write me a 
statement denying everything you’ve been saying, or . . . 

Dr, Stockmann: Peter, you’re a low creature! 

Peter Stockmann: All right then, you’d better get this one 
straight, Thomas. If you’re figuring on opening another at- 
tack from out of town, keep this in mind: the morning it’s 
published I’ll send out a subpoena for you and begin a prose- 
cution for conspiracy. I’ve been trying to make you respecta- 
ble all my life; now if you want to make the big jump there’ll 
be nobody there to hold you back. Now do we understand 
each other? 


09 


An Enemy of the People 


Dr. Stockmann: Oh, we do, Peter! Peter Stockmann starts for 
the door. Get the girl— what the hell is her name— scrub the 
floors, wash down the walls, a pestilence has been here! 

Kiil enters. Peter Stockmann almost runs into him. Peter 
turns to his brother. 

Peter Stockmann, pointing to Kiil: Ha! He turns and goes 
out. 

Kiil, humming quietly, goes to a chair. 

Dr. Stockmann: Morten! What have you done? What’s the 
matter with you? Do you realize what this makes me look 
like? 

Kiil has started taking some papers out of his pocket. Dr. 
Stockmann breaks off on seeing them. Kiil places them on the 
table. 

Dr. Stockmann: Is that— them? 

Kiil: That’s them, yes. Kirsten Springs shares. And very easy 
to get this morning. 

Dr. Stockmann: Morten, don’t play with me— what is this all 
about? 

Kiil: What are you so nervpus about? Can’t a man buy some 
stock without . . . ? 

Dr. Stockmann: I want an explanation, Morten. 

Kiil, nodding: Thomas, they hated you last night— 

Dr. Stockmann: You don’t have to tell me that. 

Kiil: But they also believed you. They’d love to murder you, 
but they believe you. Slight pause. The way they say it, the 
pollution is coming down the river from Windmill Valley. 


1 lo 


Act Three 


)r. Stockmann; That’s exactly where it’s coming from. 

I Ciil: Yes. And that’s exactly where my tannery is. 

J 

'^ause. Dr. Stockmann sits down slowly. 

I Dr. Stockmann: Well, Morten, I never made a secret to you 
diat the pollution was tannery waste. 

Kiil: I’m not blaming you. It’s my fault. I didn’t take you 
seriously. But it’s very serious now. Thomas, I got that tan- 
nery from my father; he got it from his father; and his father 
50t it from my great-grandfather. I do not intend to allow my 
family’s name to stand for the three generations of murdering 
I rngels who poisoned this town. 

Dr. Stockmann: I’ve waited a long time for this talk, Morten, 
don’t think you can stop that from happening. 

V.IIL: No, but you can. 

)r. Stockmann: I? 

viiL, nudging the shares: I’ve bought these shares because— 

)r. Stockmann: Morten, you’ve thrown your money away. 
The springs are doomed. 

Ciil: I never throw my money away, Thomas. These were 
)ought with your money. 

)r. Stockmann: My money? What . . . ? 

Liil: You’ve probably suspected that I might leave a little 
omething for Catherine and the boys? 

)r. Stockmann; Well, naturally, I’d hoped you’d . . . 

Liil, touching the shares: I decided this morning to invest 
lat money in some stock. 


1 


An Enemy of the People 


Dr. Stockmann, slowly getting up: You bought that junk 
with Catherine’s money! 

Kiil: People call me “badger,” and that’s an animal that 
roots out things, but it’s also some kind of a pig, I under- 
stand. I’ve lived a clean man and I’m going to die clean. 
You’re going to clean my name for me. 

Dr. Stockmann: Morten ... 

Kiil: Now I want to see if you really belong in a strait jacket. 

Dr. Stockmann: How could you do such a thing? What’s the 
matter with you! 

Kiil: Now don’t get excited, it’s very simple. If you should 
make another investigation of the water— 

Dr. Stockmann: I don’t need another investigation, I— 

Kiil: If you think it over and decide that you ought to change 
your opinion about the water— 

Dr. Stockmann: But the water is poisoned! It is poisoned! 

Kiil: If you simply go on insisting the water is poisoned— /le 
holds up the ^/lares— with these in your house, then there’s 
only one explanation for you— you’re absolutely crazy. He 
puts the shares down on the table again. 

Dr. Stockmann: You’re right! I’m mad! I’m insane! 

Kiil, with more force: You’re stripping the skin off your fam- 
ily’s back! Only a madman would do a thing like that! 

Dr. Stockmann: Morten, Morten, I’m a penniless man! Why 
didn’t you tell me before you bought this junk? 

Kiil: Because you would understand it better if I told you 
after. He goes up to Dr. Stockmann, holds him by the lapels. 


12 


Act Three 


With terrific force, and the twinkle still in his eye: And, god- 
dammit, I think you do understand it now, don’t you? Mil- 
lions of tons of water come down that river. How do you 
know the day you made your tests there wasn’t something 
unusual about the water? 

Dr. Stockmann, not looking at Kiil: Yes, but I . . . 

Kiil; How do you know? Why couldn’t those little animals 
have clotted up only the patch of water you souped out of the 
river? How do you know the rest of it wasn’t pure? 

Dr. Stockmann: It’s not probable. People were getting sick 
last summer . . . 

Kiil: They were sick when they came here or they wouldn’t 
have come! 

Dr. Stockmann, breaking away: Not intestinal diseases, skin 
diseases . . . 

Kiil, following him: The only place anybody gets a bellyache 
is here! There are no carbuncles in Norway? Maybe the food 
was bad. Did you ever think of the food? 

Dr. Stockmann, with the desire to agree with him: No, I 
didn’t look into the food . . . 

Kiil: Then what makes you so sure it’s the water? 

Dr. Stockmann: Because I tested the water and— 

Kiil, taking hold of him again: Admit it! We’re all alone 
here. You have some doubt. 

Dr. Stockmann: Well, there’s always a possible . . . 

Kiil: Then part of it’s imaginary. 


13 


An Enemy of the People 


Dr. Stockmann: Well, nothing is a hundred per cent on this 
earth, but— 

Kiil; Then you have a perfect right to doubt the other wayl 
You have a scientific righti And did you ever think of some 
disinfectant? I bet you never even thought of that. 

Dr. Stockmann: Not for a mass of water like that, you 
can’t . . . 

Kiil: Everything can be killed. That’s science! Thomas, I 
never liked your brother either, you have a perfect right to 
hate him. 

Dr. Stockmann: I didn't do it because I hate my brother. 

Kiil: Part of it, part of it, don’t deny it! You admit there’s 
some doubt in your mind about the water, you admit there 
may be ways to disinfect it, and yet you went after your 
brother as though these doubts didn’t exist; as though the 
only way to cure the thing was to blow up the whole Insti- 
tute! There’s hatred in that, boy, don’t forget it. He points to 
the shares. These can belong to you now, so be sure, be sure! 
Tear the hatred out of your heart, stand naked in front of 
yourself— are you sure? 

Dr. Stockmann: What right have you to gamble my family’s 
future on the strength of my convictions? 

Kiil: Aha! Then the convictions are not really that strong! 

Dr. Stockmann: I am ready to hang for my convictions! But 
no man has a right to make martyrs of others; my family is 
innocent. Sell back those shares, give her what belongs to her. 
I’m a penniless man! 

Kiil: Nobody is going to say Morten Kiil wrecked this town. 


114 


Act Three 


He gathers up the shares. You retract your convictions— or 
these go to my charity. 

Dr. Stockmann; Everything? 

Kiil; There’ll be a little something for Catherine, but not 
much. I want my good name. It's exceedingly important 
to me. 

Dr. Stockmann, bitterly: And charity . . . 

Kiil: Charity will do it, or you will do it. It’s a serious thing 
to destroy a town. 

Dr. Stockmann: Morten, when I look at you, I swear to God 
I see the devil! 

The door opens, and before we see who is there . . . 

Dr. Stockmann: You! 

Aslaksen enters, holding up his hand defensively. 

Aslaksen: Now don’t get excited! Please! 

Hovstad enters. He and Aslaksen stop short and smile on see- 
ing Kiil. 

Kiil: Too many intellectuals here: I’d better go. 

Aslaksen, apologetically: Doctor, can we have five minutes of— 

Dr. Stockmann: I’ve got nothing to say to you. 

Kiil, going to the door: I want an answer right away. You 
hear? I’m waiting. He leaves. 

Dr. Stockmann: All right, say it quick, what do you want? 

Hovstad: We don’t expect you to forgive our attitude at the 
meeting, but . . . 


5 


An Enemy of the People 


Dr. Stockmann, groping for the word: Your attitude was 
prone . . . prostrated . . . prostitutedi 

Hovstad: All right, call it whatever you— 

Dr. Stockmann: I’ve got a lot on my mind, so get to the 
point. What do you want? 

Aslaksen: Doctor, you should have told us what was in back 
of it all. You could have had the Messenger behind you all 
the way. 

Hovstad: You’d have had public opinion with you now. Why 
didn’t you tell us? 

Dr. Stockmann: Look, I’m very tired, let’s not beat around 
the bushl 

Hovstad, gesturing toward the door where Kiil went out: 
He’s been all over town buying up stock in the springs. It’s no 
secret any more. 

Dr. Stockmann, after a slight pause: Well, what about it? 

Hovstad, in a friendly way: You don’t want me to spell it out, 
do you? 

Dr. Stockmann: I certainly wish you would. I— 

Hovstad: All right, let’s lay it on the table. Aslaksen, you 
want to ... ? 

Aslaksen: No, no, go ahead. 

Hovstad: Doctor, in the beginning we supported you. But it 
quickly became clear that if we kept on supporting you in 
the face of public hysteria— 

Dr. Stockmann: Your paper created the hysteria. 


i6 


Act Three 


Hovstad: One thing at a time, all right? Slowly, to drive it 
into Dr. Stockmann’s head: We couldn’t go on supporting 
you because, in simple language, we didn’t have the money to 
withstand the loss in circulation. You’re boycotted now? Well, 
the paper would have been boycotted too, if we’d stuck with 
you. 

Aslaksen; You can see that. Doctor. 

Dr. Stockmann: Oh, yes. But what do you want? 

Hovstad: The People’s Messenger can put on such a cam- 
paign that in two months you will be hailed as a hero in this 
town. 

Aslaksen: We’re ready to go. 

Hovstad: We will prove to the public that you had to buy 
up the stock because the management would not make the 
changes required for public health. In other words, you did it 
for absolutely scientific, public-spirited reasons. Now what do 
you say. Doctor? 

Dr. Stockmann: You want money from me, is that it? 
Aslaksen: Well, now. Doctor . . . 

Hovstad, to Aslaksen: No, don’t walk around it. To Dr. Stock- 
mann: If we started to support you again. Doctor, we’d lose 
circulation for a while. We’d like you— or Mr. Kiil rather— to 
make up the deficit. Quickly: Now that’s open and above- 
board, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Do you? 

Pause. Dr. Stockmann looks at him, then turns and walks to 
the windows, deep in thought. 

Aslaksen: Remember, Doctor, you need the paper, you need 
it desperately. 


7 


An Enemy of the People 


Dr. Stockmann, returning: No, there’s nothing wrong with it 
at all. I— I'm not at all averse to cleaning up my name— al- 
though for myself it never was dirty. But I don’t enjoy being 
hated, if you know what I mean. 

Aslaksen: Exactly. 

Hovstad: Aslaksen, will you show him the budget . . . 
Aslaksen reaches into his pocket. 

Dr. Stockmann: Just a minute. There is one point. I hate to 
keep repeating the same thing, but the water is poisoned. 

Hovstad; Now, Doctor . . . 

Dr. Stockmann: Just a minute. The Mayor says that he will 
levy a tax on eveiybody to pay for the reconstruction. I as- 
sume you are ready to support that tax at the same time you’re 
supporting me. 

Aslaksen: That tax would be extremely unpopular. 

Hovstad: Doctor, with you back in charge of the baths, I have 
absolutely no fear that anything can go wrong. 

Dr. Stockmann: In other words, you will clean up my name— 
so that I can be in charge of the corruption. 

Hovstad; But we can’t tackle everything at once. A new tax— 
there’d be an uproarl 

Aslaksen: It would ruin the paper 1 

Dr. Stockmann: Then you don’t intend to do anything about 
the water? 

Hovstad: We have faith you won’t let anyone get sick. 


i8 


Act Three 


Dr. Stockmann: In other words, gentlemen, you are looking 
for someone to blackmail into paying your printing bill. 

Hovstad, indignantly: We are trying to clear your name. Doc- 
tor Stockmann! And if you refuse to cooperate, if that’s going 
to be your attitude ... 

Dr. Stockmann: Yes? Go on. What will you do? 

Hovstad, to Aslaksen: I think we’d better go. 

Dr. Stockmann, stepping in their way: What will you do? I 
would like you to tell me. Me, the man two minutes ago you 
were going to make into a hero— what will you do now that I 
won’t pay you? 

Aslaksen: Doctor, the public is almost hysterical . . . 

Dr. Stockmann: To my face, tell me what you are going 
to do! 

Hovstad: The Mayor will prosecute you for conspiracy to de- 
stroy a corporation, and without a paper behind you, you will 
end up in prison. 

Dr. Stockmann: And you’ll support him, won’t you? I want 
it from your mouth, Hovstad. This little victory you will not 
deny me. Hovstad starts for the door. Dr. Stockmann steps 
into his way. Tell the hero, Hovstad. You’re going to go on 
crucifying the hero, are you not? Say it to me! You will not 
leave here until I get this from your mouth! 

Hovstad, looking directly at Dr. Stockmann: You are a mad- 
man. You are insane with egotism. And don’t excuse it with 
humanitarian slogans, because a man who’ll drag his family 
through a lifetime of disgrace is a demon in his heart! He ad- 
vances on Dr. Stockmann. You hear me? A demon who cares 


19 


An Enemy of the People 


more for the purity of a public bath than the lives of his wife 
and children. Doctor Stockmann, you deserve everything 
you’re going to getl 

Dr. Stockmann is struck by Hovstad’s ferocious conviction. 
Aslaksen comes toward him, taking the budget out of his 
pocket. 

Aslaksen, nervously: Doctor, please consider it. It won’t take 
much money, and in two months’ time I promise you your 
whole life will change and . . . 

Offstage Mrs. Stockmann is heard calling in a frightened 
voice, “What happened? My God, whafs the matter?” She 
runs to the front door. Dr. Stockmann, alarmed, goes quickly 
to the hallway. Ejlif and Morten enter. Morten’s head is 
bruised. Petra and Captain Horster enter from the left. 

Mrs. Stockmann; Something happenedl Look at him! 

Morten: I’m all right, they just . . . 

Dr. Stockmann, looking at the bruise: What happened here? 
Morten: Nothing, Papa, I swear . . . 

Dr. Stockmann, to Ejlif: What happened? Why aren’t you in 
school? 

Ejlif: The teacher said we better stay home the rest of the 
week. 

Dr. Stockmann: The boys hit him? 

Ejlif: They started calling you names, so he got sore and 
began to fight with one kid, and all of a sudden the whole 
bunch of them . . . 

Mrs. Stockmann, to Morten: Why did you answer! 


20 


Act Three 


Morten, indignantly: They called him a traitor! My father is 
no traitor! 

Ejuf: But you didn’t have to answer! 

Mrs. Stockmann: You should’ve known they’d all jump on 
you! They could have killed you! 

Morttn: I don’t care! 

Dr. Stockmann, to quiet him— and his own heart: Morten . . . 

Morten, pulling away from his father: I’ll kill them! I’ll take 
a rock and the next time I see one of them I’ll kill him! 

Dr. Stockmann reaches for Morten, who, thinking his father 
will chastise him, starts to run. Dr. Stockmann catches him 
and grips him by the arm. 

Morten: Let me go! Let me ... ! 

Dr. Stockmann: Morten . . . Morten . . . 

Morten, crying in his father’s arms: They called you traitor, 
an enemy . . . He sobs. 

Dr. Stockmann: Sssh. That’s all. Wash your face. 

Mrs. Stockmann takes Morten. Dr. Stockmann stands erect, 
faces Aslaksen and Hovstad. 

Dr. Stockmann: Good day, gentlemen. 

Hovstad: Let us know what you decide and we’ll— 

Dr. Stockmann: I’ve decided. I am an enemy of the people. 

Mrs. Stockmann: Tom, what are you . . . ? 

Dr. Stockmann: To such people, who teach their own chil- 
dren to think with their fists— to them I’m an enemy! And my 


121 


An Enemy of the People 


boy ... my boys ... my family ... I think you can count us 
all enemies. 

Aslaksen: Doctor, you could have everything you wantl 

Dr. Stockmann: Except the truth. I could have everything 
but that— that the water is poisonedl 

Hovstad: But you’ll be in charge. 

Dr. Stockmann: But the children are poisoned, the people 
are poisonedl If the only way I can be a friend of the people 
is to take charge of that corruption, then I am an enemy 1 The 
water is poisoned, poisoned, poisonedl That’s the beginning 
of it and that’s the end of itl Now get out of herel 

Hovstad: You know where you’re going to end? 

Dr. Stockmann: I said get out of herel He grabs Aslaksen's 
umbrella out of his hand. 

Mrs. Stockmann: What are you doing? 

Aslaksen and Hovstad back toward the door as Dr. Stockmann 
starts to swing. 

Aslaksen: You’re a fanatic, you’re out of your mindl 

Mrs. Stockmann, grabbing Dr. Stockmann to take the um- 
brella: What are you doing? 

Dr. Stockmann: They want me to buy the paper, the public, 
the pollution of the springs, buy the whole pollution of this 
townl They’ll make a hero out of me for thatl Furiously, to 
Aslaksen and Hovstad: But I’m not a hero, I’m the enemy— 
and now you’re first going to find out what kind of enemy I 
ami I will sharpen my pen like a dagger— you, all you friends 
of the people, are going to bleed before I’m donel Go, tell 


122 


Act Three 


them to sign the petitions! Warn them not to call me when 
they’re sick! Beat up my children! And never let hsx—he 
points to Petra— in the school again or she'll destroy the im- 
maculate purity of the vacuum there! See to all the barricades 
—the truth is coming! Ring the bells, sound the alarm! The 
truth, the truth is out, and soon it will be prowling like a lion 
in the streets! 

Hovstad: Doctor, you’re out of your mind. 

He and Aslaksen turn to go. They are in the doorway. 

Ejlif, rushing at them: Don’t you say that to him! 

Dr. Stockmann, as Mrs. Stockmann cries out, rushes them 
with the umbrella: Out of here! 

They rush out. Dr. Stockmann throws the umbrella after 
them, then slams the door. Silence. He has his back pressed 
against the door, facing his family. 

Dr. Stockmann: I’ve had all the ambassadors of hell today, 
but there’ll be no more. Now, now listen, Catherine! Chil- 
dren, listen. Now we’re besieged. They’ll call for blood now, 
they’ll whip the people like oxen— A rock comes through a 
remaining pane. The boys start for the window. Stay away 
from there! 

Mrs. Stockmann: The Captain knows where we can get a ship. 
Dr. Stockmann: No ships. 

Petra: We’re staying? 

Mrs. Stockmann: But they can’t go back to school! I won’t 
let them out of the house! 

Dr. Stockmann: We’re staying. 


123 


An Enemy of the People 


Petra: Good! 

Dr. Stockmann; We must be careful now. We must live 
through this. Boys, no more school. I’m going to teach you, 
and Petra will. Do you know any kids, street louts, hookey- 
players— 

Ejlif; Oh, sure, we— 

Dr. Stockmann: We’ll want about twelve of them to start. 
But I want them good and ignorant, absolutely uncivilized. 
Can we use your house. Captain? 

Horster: Sure, I’m never there. 

Dr. Stockmann: Fine. We’ll begin, Petra, and we’ll turn out 
not taxpayers and newspaper subscribers, but free and in- 
dependent people, hungry for the truth. Oh, I forgot! Petra, 
run to Grandpa and tell him— tell him as follows: no! 

Mrs. Stockmann, puzzled: What do you mean? 

Dr. Stockmann, going over to Mrs. Stockmann: It means, my 
dear, that we are all alone. And there’ll be a long night before 
it’s day— 

A rock comes through a paneless window. Horster goes to the 
window. A crowd is heard approaching. 

Horster; Half the town is out! 

Mrs. Stockmann: What’s going to happen? Tom! What’s 
going to happen? 

Dr. Stockmann, holding his hands up to quiet her, and with 
a trembling mixture of trepidation and courageous insistence: 
I don’t know. But remember now, everybody. You are fight- 
ing for the truth, and that’s why you’re alone. And that 


124 


Act Three 


makes you strong. We’re the strongest people in the world . . . 

The crowd is heard angrily calling outside. Another rock 
comes through a window. 

Dr. Stockmann: . . . and the strong must learn to be lonely! 

The crowd noise gets louder. He walks upstage toward the 
windows as a wind rises and the curtains start to billow out 
toward him. 

The Curtain Falls. 


125 




A selection of books published by Pen- 
guin is listed on the following pages. 

For a complete list of books available 
from Penguin in the United States, write 
to Dept. DG, Penguin Books, 299 Murray 
Hill Parkway, East Rutherford, New Jersey 
07073. 

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from Penguin in Canada, write to Penguin 
Books Canada Limited, 2801 John Street, 
Markham, Ontario L3R 1B4. 


OTHER CHOICE TITLES FROM PENGUIN 


Henrik Ibsen 

EACH OF THE FOLLOWING IBSEN VOLUMES INCLUDES A CRITICAL INTRODUCTION 

A DOLL’S HOUSE AND OTHER PLAYS 
(The League of Youth, The Lady From the Sea) 
Translated by Peter Watts 

GHOSTS AND OTHER PLAYS 
(A Public Enemy, When We Dead Wake) 

Translated by Peter Watts 

HEDDA GABLER AND OTHER PLAYS 
(The Pillars of the Community, The Wild Duck) 
Translated by Una Ellis-Fermor 

THE MASTER BUILDER AND OTHER PLAYS 
(Rosmersholm, Little Eyolf, John Gabriel Borkman ) 
Translated by Una Ellis-Fermor 

PEER GYNT 
Translated by" Peter Watts 


Anton Chekhov 

PLAYS 

(The Bear, The Cherry Orchard, Ivanov, A Jubilee, 
The Proposal, The Seagull, Three Sisters, Uncle Vania) 
Translated and with an Introduction by Elisaveta Fen 


August Strindberg 

THREE PLAYS 
(The Father, Miss Julia, Easter) 
Translated and with Introductions by Peter Watts 


Oscar Wilde 

SELECTED PLAYS 

(The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, 
Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, Salome) 


OTHER CHOICE TITLES FROM PENGUIN 

Arthur Miller 

AFTER THE FALL 

THE CRUCIBLE 

Viking Critical Library Edition 
THE CRUCIBLE 
Text and Criticism 
Edited by Gerald Weales 

DEATH OF A SALESMAN 

Viking Critical Library Edition 
DEATH OF A SALESMAN 
Text and Criticism 
Edited by Gerald Weales 

THE PORTABLE ARTHUR MILLER 
(Death of a Salesman, The Crucible; selection from 
The Misfits; essays; poetry) 

Edited by Harold Clurman 

THE THEATER ESSAYS OF ARTHUR MILLER 
Edited and with an introduction by Robert A. Martin 

A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE 

James Joyce 
EXILES 
DUBLINERS 
FINNEGANS WAKE 


A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN 


OTHER CHOICE TITLES FROM PENGUIN 


Bernard Shaw 

Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, of Protestant stock, in 1856 and 
died in Ayot St. Lawrence, England, in 1950. After a false start in 
nineteenth-century fashion as a novelist, he made a reputation as a 
journalist-critic of books, pictures, music, and drama. Meanwhile he 
had plunged into the Socialist revival of the 1880s and come out as 
one of the leaders who made the Fabian Society famous, figuring 
prominently not only as a pamphleteer and platform orator, but as a 
serious economist and philosopher, publishing major essays on Henrik 
Ibsen and Richard Wagner. He broke out in a new direction in 1892 
as a playwright, although it was not until some twelve years later that 
the opposition he had always to face at first was overcome sufficiently 
to establish him as an irresistible force in the theater. His plays pub- 
lished in Penguin Books are: 

ANDROCLES AND THE LION 
THE APPLE CART 
ARMS AND THE MAN 
BACK TO METHUSELAH 
CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA 
CANDIDA 

THE devil’s DISCIPLE 
THE doctor’s DILEMMA 
HEARTBREAK HOUSE 
MAJOR BARBARA 
MAN AND SUPERMAN 
THE MILLIONAIRESS 
PLAYS UNPLEASANT 

(Widowers’ Houses, The Philanderer, Mrs Warren’s Profession) 

THE PORTABLE BERNARD SHAW 

Edited by Stanley Weintraub 
(The Devil’s Disciple, Pygmalion, In the Beginning, 

Heartbreak House, Shakes versus Shav, 

The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 
selection from Man and Superman; 
letters, reviews, articles, and speeches) 

PYGMALION 
SAINT JOAN 

SELECTED ONE ACT PLAYS 


ALBERTA EDUCATION LIBRARY 
4th FLOOR 

11160 JASPER AVENUE 
EDMONTON, ALBERTA T5K 0L2 


•1 


Arthur Miller ' s..^ adaptation of -y 
an enemy of the people. -’ll 
LAB .cl . , 4 , 



RE^MMEI^DED: FOR USi 
irlAiBERTA- SCHOOLS 


Penguin Plays 



“Ibsen had a savage case against society, and he 

stated it furiously By dispensing with the 

previous English translation, Mr. Miller has 
released the anger and scorn of the father of 
realism.” 

— Brooks Atkinson, The New York Times 

What happens when truth conflicts with the will 
of the majority? An Enemy of the People explores 
this question through the story of Dr. Stockman, 
who discovers poison in his town’s water supply 
and is pilloried by townsmen unwilling to face 
the facts. Ibsen’s theme — that those who corrupt 
truth must themselves become corrupted — is as , 
valid now as it ever was, but some of the ex- r 
amples that support it may no longer be. Ai l^-iur 
Miller has therefore given us a modern ve? sson, ^ 
written as only he could write it and makir g this 
vivid, troubling play as alive to us today as it was 
in Ibsen’s own time. 

Cover design by Phil Jaget - 




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